Bengali potato curry

SOURCE This recipe comes from In Praise of the Potato by Lindsey Bareham (Grafton Books, 1991). We have made the recipe steps more explicit for the novice cook.
Serves 4 as main course
Time (approx): preparation 15m cooking 30m

1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp fenugreek seeds*
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
450g potatoes
200g aubergine
400g courgettes
2 cloves of garlic
110g peas (optional)
1 tsp soft brown sugar
½ tsp salt
* If you can’t get fenugreek, use ½ tsp of curry powder or double the amount of mustard seed.
Knife with a sharp blade
Plastic or wooden spoon or spatula for stirring
Large frying-pan with a lid (you can use a saucepan if you do not have a lid for a frying-pan)
A hob or other direct heat source for cooking; Space to chop.
Advance preparation
None required.
Preparing the Vegetables
Peel the potatoes then cut them, the courgette and the aubergine into dice of approx. ½ inch.
Cooking the meal
Heat the oil in the pan. Fry the mustard seeds, paprika, fenugreek and fennel seeds, cumin and bay leaf, stirring quickly.
Put the stock in the saucepan and add the raisins, coriander and cumin. Bring the mixture to the boil, and then add the sliced leeks and the beets.
When the seeds begin to pop, stir in the diced potatoes.
Turn the heat down low, and after about five minutes, add the aubergine and the courgette. Continue to fry them, stirring, for another five minutes.
Sprinkle the salt and the sugar over the vegetables and stir them in.
Pour enough water to just cover the vegetables. Cover the pan and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. Most of the water should be absorbed.
Suggested accompaniment
The curry would be very nicely complemented by a good-quality chutney and some Seven Acres mixed salad leaves.