Bateta Nu Shaak is a hugely popular dish in Gujarati households. It refers to potato curry or sabzi, which is made in many different ways across the state. Today, I am going to share with you all the recipe for a finger-lickingly delicious version of Bateta Nu Shaak, one that I learnt from a Gujarati neighbour of ours years ago.
More about this Bateta Nu Shaak
This is a sweet and sour sabzi, high on the flavour quotient but very easy to put together. There is no onion or garlic used – only some basic ingredients and spice powders – yet it manages to be super delicious. You will commonly encounter this Bateta Nu Shaak in Gujarati weddings, parties, and other social and religious occasions.
This sabzi is not exactly gravy-based, but it is not a completely dry curry either. It goes very well with phulka rotis, pooris and parathas alike, and also pairs up wonderfully with Gujarati dal and rice.
A closer look at the ingredients
Potatoes are the major ingredient here, of course. Regular-sized potatoes that are not waxy are commonly used to make this sabzi.
A paste of ginger and green chillies is added, which gives this dish a gorgeous flavour and fragrance. The sweetness comes from the addition of jaggery, while the sourness comes from tomatoes as well as tamarind extract.
A little garam masala is used in this Bateta Nu Shaak, as is the combination of roasted and powdered coriander seeds (dhania/dhana) and cumin seeds (jeera/jeeru) that is typical of most Gujarati curries.
The tempering for this sabzi is simple – just some mustard, cumin, asafoetida and curry leaves.
Bateta Nu Shaak recipe
Here’s how to go about making this sabzi.
Ingredients (serves 4-5):
1. 6 medium-sized potatoes
2. A small piece of tamarind
3. 1-1/2 green chillies
4. A 1-inch piece of ginger
5. 1 large tomato
6. 1 tablespoon oil
7. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
8. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
9. 2 pinches of asafoetida
10. 1 sprig of curry leaves
11. Salt to taste
12. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
13. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
14. 1 teaspoon roasted coriander seed powder
15. 1 teaspoon cumin powder
16. 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
17. About 1 tablespoon jaggery powder
18. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for at least 15-20 minutes, for it to soften. Let it cool down enough to handle.
2. In the meantime, wash the potatoes thoroughly, to remove all the dirt from them. Cut them into halves. Take them in a wide vessel. Add in enough fresh water to cover the potatoes completely.
3. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
4. While the potatoes are cooking, peel the ginger and chop roughly. Remove stems from the green chillies and chop roughly. Grind the ginger and green chillies to a paste in a small mixer jar, using a little water. Keep aside.
5. Chop the tomato finely. Keep aside.
6. When the tamarind has cooled down, extract the juice from it. Keep the tamarind extract thick and not too watery. Keep aside.
7. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the potatoes out. Drain out the water from them. Let the cooked potatoes cool down completely, then peel them and cut into large cubes. Keep aside.
8. Now, we will start preparing the sabzi. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida, and allow them to stay in for a few seconds.
9. Next, add in the chopped tomatoes and curry leaves. Add a little salt. Cook on high flame till the tomatoes start turning soft.
10. Add in the tamarind extract, followed by the ginger-chilli paste. Cook on high flame for 2-3 minutes.
11. At this stage, turn down the flame to medium and add in the cubed potatoes. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder (if using), coriander powder and roasted cumin powder. Mix well, but gently.
12. Add in the garam masala and jaggery powder. Mix gently.
13. Cook on medium flame for about 5 minutes, stirring intermittently. Take care to ensure that the potatoes do not get mashed up.
14. After 5 minutes, switch off gas and mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Bateta Nu Shaak is ready. Serve warm.
Is this a vegan and gluten-free recipe?
This is a completely vegetarian and vegan recipe, suited to those following a plant-based diet.
In order to make it gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most commercially available Indian brands of asafoetida have wheat flour added in them and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely go ahead and use it.
Tips & Tricks
1. Lemon juice can be used for souring the sabzi, instead of the tamarind extract used here. However, I strongly suggest using tamarind as it adds a unique flavour to the dish.
2. Adjust the quantity of tamarind depending upon how sour you would like the sabzi to be.
3. Sugar can be used in place of the jaggery powder used here. I prefer using jaggery.
4. Adjust the quantity of green chillies as per personal taste preferences. You may skip the red chilli powder completely, if the spice level from the green chillies is enough.
5. Do not overcook the potatoes. They should be cooked through, but not mushy. 2 whistles on high flame in the pressure cooker works just fine for me. Some varieties of potatoes need just 1 whistle, so check and work out the cooking time accordingly. Overcooked potatoes will turn the sabzi mushy and tasteless.
6. I stock roasted and powdered coriander seeds (dhania) and cumin seeds (jeera) in my kitchen, and use them as needed. Instead, you could use dhana-jeeru powder, the quintessential spice blend used in Gujarati households.
7. Make sure you cook the sabzi on medium flame so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir it gently, so the potatoes don’t break too much – this can turn the sabzi into a mushy lump.
8. I use home-made garam masala that is quite strong, so I use very little of it. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.
9. If the sabzi gets too dry while cooking, a couple of splashes of water should help. Remember – just splashes and not too much water.
10. Sabzi masala or chana masala can also be used in place of the garam masala used here.
Some other interesting potato recipes!
We adore potatoes at home! I use them in a variety of ways, this Gujarati Bateta Nu Shaak being an all-time hit. I have documented quite a few of these recipes on my blog – Undhiyu, Dum Aloo, Assamese Massor Dailor Boror Tenga, Uttar Pradesh-style Aloo Rassedar, Aloo Paratha, Dabeli, Dhaba-Style Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi, Aloo Methi, Aloo Poha, Bombay Sandwich, Paani Poori, Bombay Saagu, Masala Dosa, Bread Rolls, Open Butter Masala Dosa, Mysore Masala Dosa and Masala Erra Karam Dosa.
A fellow food blogger, friend, philosopher, guide and potato lover, Sujata ji of Batter Up With Sujata has several aloo recipes on her blog too. Her Lemon Potato With Sesame Seeds sounds absolutely fantastic – got to try that out! In fact, I’m feeling adventurous enough to try out Sujata ji’s beautiful Eggless Potato Pie, thanks to her elaborately outlined recipe.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!