Variations of a potato shak

It’s quite common for gujaratis to eat a version of Potato curry – we call these bateta nu shak.
I’ve detailed two recipes below. For the first, I usually use King Edwards or Maris Piper potatoes though I once got a potato called “Orla” from Riverford that made a delicious shak. The second recipe is my version of Bombay aloo which uses baby new potatoes. This latter is often taken on picnics as it tastes delicious hot or cold.

Bateta nu shak:
6 medium sized potatoes. King Edwards or Maris Piper. Peeled and cut in 2 inch cubes.
2 tbs groundnut oil
1tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/2 inch ginger grated
1-2 fresh green chillies chopped finely
5 green cardamons – if you have time, slightly dry roast these to get the flavour out
2 large ripe tomatoes chopped into small dice
7 curry leaves
1tsp chili powder
1tsp turmeric (hurder/haldi)
1tsp coriander / cumin ground powder (dhana jeeru)
1 tsp salt or to taste
Dash of lemon juice – optional
Coriander to garnish

  • Heat oil over medium heat and put in cumin seeds. Wait for them to start sizzling
  • Add ginger and chillies and gently cook for a few seconds
  • Add green cardamon. Cook for 10-15 seconds
  • Add tomatoes and spices. Now let this mix cook until the tomatoes are soft and the spices have a chance to cook out a bit. Basically you are making a sauce – it’s called vagar in gujarati.
  • Add curry leaves to vagar and stir.
  • Add potatoes and turn so they are evenly coated in the vagar. Cook like this for about 2 minutes and make sure you keep turning so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Add 1 cup water and then bring to boil. As soon as it does that, turn heat down to a simmer and let the shak cook until you can easily put a fork through the potatoes.
  • If you want, add a dash of lemon as that enhances the flavour. Stir and garnish with finely chopped coriander.
  • Serve with rice or rotis.

Bombay aloo
20 baby new potatoes parboiled. You can leave the skin on if you like since this adds to the flavour but it works just as well without
2 tbs groundnut oil
1tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 medium onion diced very finely
1 inch ginger grated
1-2 fresh green chillies chopped finely
5 cloves
5 green cardamons – if you have time, slightly dry roast these to get the flavour out
1 stick cinnamon (or curcumin which asian shops sell as cinnamon)
2 large ripe tomatoes chopped into small dice
7 curry leaves
1tsp chili powder
1tsp turmeric (hurder/haldi)
1tsp coriander / cumin ground powder (dhana jeeru)
1 tsp salt or to taste
Dash of lemon juice
1 – 2 tsp sugar
Coriander to garnish

  • Heat oil over medium heat and put in cumin seeds. Wait for them to start sizzling
  • Add onion, stir and cook until it starts to brown at edges
  • Add ginger and chillies and gently cook for a few seconds
  • Add green cardamon, cloves and cinnamon stick. Cook for 10-15 seconds
  • Add tomatoes and spices. Now let this mix cook until the tomatoes are soft and the spices have a chance to cook out a bit. Basically you are making a sauce – it’s called vagar in gujarati.
  • Add curry leaves to vagar and stir.
  • Add potatoes and turn so they are evenly coated in the vagar. Cook like this for about 2 minutes and make sure you keep turning so that it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Add 1 cup water and then bring to boil. As soon as it does that, turn heat down to a simmer and let the shak cook until you can easily put a fork through the potatoes. Add water if you need as new potatoes take time to cook.
  • Add lemon and sugar. Stir and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander.
  • Serve with rice or rotis.
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