Potato and Onion Curry (Subze)

This week's recipe is Potato and Onion Curry/Subze also known as Bataka/Bateta Kaanda nu Shaak. It is a dish that can be eaten with many different dishes.

(serves 3 or 4 people)

It is such a staple in the Gujarati diet, that it can be eaten as a main course, a side dish, it can double up as a filling for South Indian dosas (thin pancakes made of rice flour and lentils), it can be eaten with Indian breads such as chapatis, naans and tandoori rotis, as well as with rice and dahl/dal (lentils) and pilau and kadhi (an Indian, yogurt based soup).

Click for cumin rice, dahl/dal and kadhi recipes.

It is also a comfort food that leaves one's hungry stomach completely satisfied once devoured! So are we ready? :)


For the tarka - roasted seasoning:

3 big tbsps of sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch asafoetida


5 relatively large potatoes, cubed (baking potato size of any variety you like)
1 large onion, sliced/big cubes
1 heaped tbsp ginger, grated
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp fresh green chillies, ground/blended
0.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder (available from any Indian grocery store)
1 pinch red chilli powder
some warm water


chopped coriander to garnish


1. In a large, non-stick saucepan, heat the oil on a high heat.

2. Add in the cumin seeds, the mustard seeds and the asafoetida. Let them cook until the seeds start to go from a golden to a slightly brown colour. But be careful that the seeds do not burn.

3. Then add in the potatoes and onions and stir well until they are coated with the seasoned oil.

4. Turn down the heat to a medium to high heat. Add in the salt, ginger, green chillies, turmeric powder, cumin-coriander powder and red chilli powder.

5. Stir well; all this, while keeping the saucepan on a medium to high heat.

6. Once stirred, cover the saucepan with its lid and let it cook for 5 minutes.

7. Open the lid and add in 1 big tablespoon warm water. Stir once again and close the lid immediately and turn the heat down to a low heat.

8. Let the potatoes and onions cook in their own steam. Cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked, stirring every 5 minutes; a knife should go through the potatoes with ease - this is when you will know that it is fully cooked.

NB: Once the dish is cooked, taste and add salt as desired; I have only given you the amount we put in at home. You may prefer more or less! :)

Tip: while the potatoes and onions are cooking in their own steam, they may start to stick to the saucepan. In this case, only add one more tablespoon of water when there is evidence of sticking and stir the dish; do not over stir though as you don't want the dish to become a mash!

9. Serve hot and garnish with chopped, washed coriander if you so wish.

So there you have it; let me know, as always, how yours turned out!

'Til next week...enjoy!
Bon appétit! xx


  1. Now this is a dish that is also comfort food in South Indian/Sri Lankan cuisine as well so I do cook this from time to time to remind me of home...

    My tip is that our potatoes are lightly marinated with chilli powder and curry powder to give it that extra zing!

    Of course the cumin-coriander powder is the best finishing touch for a fragrant finish!

  2. Thank you for that lovely recipe...I'm going to get Rahul to make it this weekend with puris...yum yum...

  3. My pleasure as always :) Enjoy! xx


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