Ringan bateta nu shak (aubergine and potato curry)

This shak is so easy to make and has very few ingredients – it’s easily cooked within 20 mins. It’s so rustic! It relies on good quality aubergines and potatotes. I prefer to use the small round aubergine sometimes called a brinjal (do a google image search to see what I mean) sold by Indian grocers rather than the long plump Dutch aubergine normally found in English supermarkets. However, if you cannot get the former, the latter is equally delicious.

Select ones that are plump, quite firm and has few blemishes on the skin. When you cut into the aubergine, the flesh should be white and there should be few seeds.

Sometimes aubergines can be bitter. To remedy this they can be salted before cooking. Wash the aubergines, cut off the stems and slice them aubergine into largish dice shapes. Then put a liberal amount of salt over them and leave for half an hour. Wash out the aubergines well (the water will run a sort of purplish colour!) before using in the cooking below.

The amounts below yield enough for 2 people. I prefer to serve this shak with fresh rotlis, sliced onions (cover with lemon juice to remove the sting!) and a sweet (in my case banana).


  • 3 round aubergines (or 1 large dutch aubergine) – wash, remove stem, cut into 3inch dice
  • 4 small potatoes –  remove skin, cut into the dice same size as aubergines
  • 3 tbs groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard and fenugreek seeds
  • 1 chilie chopped finely
  • 1 tsp salt (nimak)
  • 1 tsp chili powder (murcha)
  • 1 tsp coriander/cumin powder (dhana jeeru)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (hurder)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tomatoes – diced finely
  • Coriander to garnish


  • In a largish pan, heat oil over medium heat then throw in mustard/fenugreek seeds
  • Once seeds start to pop, add chilies
  • Add potatoes and aubergines
  • Add all the spices and stir the mixture very well
  • Cook for 2 minutes and keep stirring
  • Add enough water to just cover the vegetables. Don’t be tempted to put more as aubergines already hold a lot of water. Bring mix to the boil.
  • Turn down to a simmer and cook for five minutes, keep an eye on the levels and stir occasionally
  • Add the tomatoes, stir and cook for a further five minutes
  • When you come to serve garnish with coriander and serve with rotlis. If you don’t have rotlis, naan or rice do just as well.

P.S. Sorry I didn’t remember to take a picture of the final dish. It all got eaten very quickly!

Norwegian Biscuits

Sometime ago, I bought some Golden Syrup and then promptly forgot why. It’s been sitting in the back of the cupboard until today when I decided to search the Lyle’s site for inspiration. I’ve never made biscuits successfully and now I’ve discovered that there is a magic process at the end where the soft, almost crumbling biscuit comes out of the oven and after metamorphosis, becomes a solid biscuit like object. I just sigh to think of all those things I’ve thrown away in horror/disgust as they came out oven all gooey and soft and not solid at all.

That site is great. I chose to make Norwegian Biscuits. As there is no picture, I’m not sure what they are meant to look like. Probably a blessing considering what I produced.

A few amendments:

Instead of Stork margarine, I used butter. Bad for my high cholesterol but oh so deliciously good for my tongue.

I wasn’t sure what rolled oats were so I just stuck in the equivalent amount of Ready Brek porridge

The resulting mixture was very crumbly. I didn’t think that’s what biscuit mix was meant to be. Also, they did not spread out on the tray when I cooked them in the oven. I was convinced they would be utterly disgusting. But after cooling, the verdict….DELICIOUS!!  They were still very crumbly but quite nice with a hot cuppa. Yum yum.

P.S. Without the raisins/currants etc this mix would make a great topping for crumble. Just don’t cook as long, when the biscuits are cool, crumble them up and put on top stewed fruit and cook the crumble. Or hot, crumbled on top icecream.