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July 2, 2020
Gujarati Koru Bateta nu Shaak
A tried and true recipe for Gujarati Koru Bateta nu Shaak (dry-style potato curry). This is my mother’s exact recipe and the only way we make it at home. She has a few fabulous tips for achieving intense flavours and the perfect dry bhaji-style texture every time. This shaak pairs perfectly with Masala Poori and dahi (plain yoghurt).
Of the hundreds of styles potato curry out there, this Gujarati Koru Bateta nu Shaak has to be one of my favourites. Its a representation of my mother’s love on a plate. My recipe is a reflection of hers and while it uses simple ingredients, the flavours never fail to blow me away.
The many forms of potato curry
With sauce, without sauce, spicy, mild, whole potatoes, sliced potatoes, diced potatoes, potato chips, stuffed potatoes and beyond. The many guises of potato curry are an endless fountain of creativity. Some have tomatoes, others have coconut, many are cooked with yoghurt, yet some are made creamy with nut and seed pastes. Sometimes they’re boiled, other times they’re fried, very often a dish will require you to do both.
I have an endless list of Potato Curries to try, but this is one I always flock home to this recipe. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit.
What makes this Gujarati Koru Bateta nu Shaak special?
The fluffiness of the potatoes. The golden crust you get from the addition of mashed potato. The tanginess of tomatoes. The buttery ghee and toasted cumin. The creamy cashews. The aromatic curry leaves. Indeed, there are so many delicious things about this style of potato curry.
Gujarati Koru Bateta nu Shaak: Troubleshooting
What kind of potatoes should I use for making Koru Bateta nu Shaak?
Any variety that’s floury and fluffy. Waxy potatoes aren’t the best potatoes for this dish as they fail to form a cohesive “mashy” texture. This is the ultimate texture for scooping with bread like Poori and Thepla. I used Maris Piper potatoes.
Do I have to microwave the potatoes?
Not necessarily. I do it for convenience and because this method of cooking ensures the potatoes don’t soak up a lot of water like they do when you boil. If you don’t want to microwave, you can steam or bake the potatoes until tender.
How do I microwave the potatoes?
Wash the potatoes and leave the skin on. Prick them all over with a fork and microwave in a single layer. High power for 10 minutes, or until tender. All microwaves differ so the time will vary depending on how powerful your microwave is. You can always do it in two 5 minute stages and check doneness often.
Can I skip the cashews?
Absolutely. For a nut-free version of this recipe, leave the cashews out.
Can I use other nuts?
Yes you can. Peanuts are a popular choice but I prefer the creaminess of cashews.
How do I veganise this Bateta nu Shaak?
Simply switch the ghee for any plant-based alternative butter or oil.
Is this Bateta nu Shaak gluten free?
Some brands of asafoetida contain wheat flour. Ensure any ingredients used in this recipe are free from gluten if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance.
Can you make this Bateta nu Shaak ahead of time?
Yes, but keep it refrigerated, not frozen. When you freeze potatoes, they have a tendency to become mealy. You can keep this Bateta nu Shaak in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Do I have to add tomato ketchup and tomato purée ? Can’t I use fresh tomatoes?
The flavour intensity you get from the combination of ketchup and tomato purée is on another scale. Fresh tomatoes are okay but they’ll in no way deliver the savoury tang of the former two ingredients. I urge you to give it a go this way for Bateta nu Shaak that’ll blow your socks off.
Do I have to add instant mashed potato powder?
Again, try it. It gives this curry an amazing texture. If you can’t get any instant mash, just mash two of the potatoes instead of one as directed in the recipe. This will work fine too. But I still like the instant mash version better.
It's always best to cook the potatoes whole, in their skins for this recipe. Wash the potatoes and prick them all over with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high power for 8-10 minutes or until cooked all the way through. A knife should slide into the potatoes easily.
If you don't want to microwave the potatoes, you can steam them whole until tender. I don't recommend boiling the potatoes as they will absorb excess water which isn't ideal for a dry-style curry like this.
Allow the potatoes to cool slightly and then peel off the skins. Set aside to cool down completely.
Use clean hands to break the now cold potatoes up into large pieces. The edges should be rough and rugged all over. This will ensure the masala clings to the potatoes really well. Mash one potato up roughly using your hands. This will help everything stick together better.
For the masala:
Heat the ghee in a large pan. Add the cumin seeds and allow to sizzle for a few seconds. Next, add in the curry leaves, asafoetida and cashews. Sauté for a minute or two, just until the cashews turn a little golden.
Throw in the ginger, chillies, tomato ketchup and tomato puree. Cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time until the raw smell of the tomatoes cooks off, about 90 seconds.
Add the turmeric, salt and sugar. Stir well and then top up with water. Cook for a further 30 seconds.
Add the potatoes to the masala and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the instant mashed potato and stir well. This is an amazing addition to this style of curry as it helps to achieve the sukha aloo bhaji-style texture. Keep the potatoes over a medium heat and allow the base to turn slightly golden in colour. Mix well and repeat. The golden bits of potato add another layer of flavour.
Sprinkle over the black pepper and fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with Masala Poori.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
This curry is not suitable for freezing as it will change the texture of the potatoes significantly.