Nani’s Stuffed Eggplant and Potato Shaak (Curry)

Nani learned this recipe from her mother-in-law Zaverbai Morjaria in Nakuru, Kenya.  She has been making it for her children and grandchildren ever since.

Baby eggplants are key to this recipe — the normal, large eggplants just don’t stuff as well.  Also, there is no actual stuffing of anything involved.  By cutting slits in the potatoes and eggplants, they become “stuffed” as they cook.

Servings: 4-6 people


  • 4 medium-sized potatoes (any potato except baking potatoes will do)
  • 10 baby eggplants, or 2 long eggplants that are cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas or green beans
  • 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1/4 cup dried coconut (optional)
  • 1 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes (if using crushed tomatoes from a can, about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup water (Note: you only need this if you are using fresh tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp. salt
  • Red chile powder (cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp. haldi (turmeric powder)
  • 2 tsp. dhana jeeru (mixture of coriander and cumin powder — just coriander powder is fine)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tbs. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. rai (mustard seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp. jeeru (cumin seeds)
  • Pinch of hing (asafetida)


  1. Prepare stuffing in medium bowl: crushed peanuts, coconut (optional), garlic, coriander & jeeru powder, haldi (turmeric), red chile powder (cayenne pepper).
  2. Then add chopped cilantro and tomatoes, and water if you are using fresh tomatoes.  Mix well with a spoon. 
  3. Prepare potatoes and eggplant: peel potatoes and cut into 4 big pieces.  Then make a slit in every piece (but make sure not to cut all the way).
  4. Cut off stems of the baby eggplants.  Depending on the length of the eggplants, cut in half to make shorter.  Then cut slits in the eggplants.
  5. Prepare vagaar: oil, rai, jeeru, and hing.  Add potatoes, eggplants, and frozen peas and/or green beans [note: here I added the tomatoes with the potatoes and eggplants — it really doesn’t matter].
  6. And then pour the stuffing right on top. Mix well. 
  7. Cover, and let cook on medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes.  Note: do not stir — otherwise it will become mushy!  Serve with fresh yogurt and any indian bread and/or rice.

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