Gujarat = FOOD.
Gujarat is my first love for a foodie like me. Gujaratis LOVE food and I love the way they come up with so many innovative concoctions : Dabeli, Dhokla, Khakhra, Dhebra, Thepla, Mohanthal, Edada, Muthia, Fafda-Jalebi… the list is endless.
But of course, for a vegetarian family like ours, Undhiyu takes the cake – all the time ! Although some restaurants did serve a Gujarati Thali while we grew up as kids, there was this misconception that all their dishes, including Dal is sweet (incidentally it is, but not as much as we thought it was)
I was definitely introduced to Gujarati fare after my marriage. Mumbai being a melting pot – the options that Gujarati food offered for veggies are endless. And there is Soam (a popular Gujrati restaurant in South Mumbai) which serves such awesome fare, and fanned the foodie in me as well. I have loads of Gujarati friends – colleagues, neighbours etc and none of them shy away from saying that they are thinking about the next meal and where and what to eat while cooking the present J J
Personally I have a soft corner for Gujaratis for their enterprising nature, fastidiousness and of course their penchant for food. Today’s post is a slightly long one, given that the dish is one of their gems – Undhiyoo. Generally made during the winter months, this is a staple dish of Gujarat, considering that the usually arid regions of Kutch and the land towards Rajasthan comes alive in the winter with delicacies such as Kand (purple yam), Papdi (Surti Papdi or Lilva Papdi – one of the main ingredients), Shakhar Khand (sweet potatoes), fresh green peas (Matar).
Traditionally Undhiyu means overturned pot. This used to be made in an earthern pot and overturned and cooked under the ground. In today’s kitchen Oondhiyoo (or Undhiyu) is sautéed in lots of oil to preserve it for atleast 2 weeks under refrigeration and is had with Rotis as a delicacy. Its best had with Puris and Shrikhand, and as its a seasonal recipe, made during winters, its made in large quantities and even shipped out to relatives and friends.
My family’s requirements were to make Oondhiyu in a low cal version. Although its very laborious to make it, I loved the process and the fact that when I made it, the markets were full of fresh produce including the coveted green garlic that takes this to a different level.
I have included step by step preparations. Use the best and freshest ingredients and you will have a winner. I cant wait for this year’s winter to make this all over again..
A labour of love. And completely worth it.
- This dish is traditionally made with LOTS of oil, and in typical Undhiyu recipes online and offline, there is this oil floating on top and sides coz all veggies are DEEP fried in oil and the masala also is swathed in oil.
- My version here is made with max 8 TBSP of oil (versus maybe a cup of oil for the same quantity of undhiyu – approx. 600 gms)
- Tastewise we loved it. But for those who have no such qualms about oil, do add in a generous portion of oil to liven it up further.
BM : 39 ~ Indian State : Gujarat
BM : 39 ~ Indian State : Gujarat
Recipe : Oondhiyu / Undhiyu
Dish type : Vegetable based side dish
Accompaniments : Roti / Phulka (Flat Indian Bread)
Spice Level :Medium to moderately spicy
Prep Time : 45 mins, Cooking time : 45 mins ; Serves : 4
(A) For the filling:
- Roasted Peanuts – 3 TBSP
- Green Chillies – 3 nos
- Green Garlic – 7-8 pods with the stalks
- Grated coconut – fresh or dry – 4 TBSP
- Minced Ginger – 1 TBSP
- Coriander leaves – a big handful
- Sesame seeds – 3 TBSP
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Cashewnuts – 2 tsp (optional)
- Garam Masala – 2 tsp
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Amchur (dry mango powder) – 2 tsp
- Dhana-Jeera Masala (coriander and cumin seed powder)- 4 TBSP
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 TBSP + 5 TBSP
Method for Filling (Stage 1 in the collage):
Dry Roast peanuts and skin them. Dry roast sesame seeds and coconut separately.
Saute Green chillies, coriander, green garlic, ginger till the chillies shrivel a bit
Powder the peanuts first, Then add sesame seeds and coconut and powder and keep aside (do not over powder, the sesame and dry coconut would leave oil)
Grind the sautéed ingredients separately with no water.
In a large plate, add the ground paste, the powdered peanut mixture, cashewnuts, garam masala, red chilli powder, amchur, dhana-jeera powder, and mix well. Add the 3 TBSP oil and make the stuffing ready.
(Imp : This stuffing is twice or thrice the quantitywhat you need to stuff the veggies – don’t throw away the remaining – its used for the gravy or the base)
Veggies for filling:
- Small firm brinjals – 4 to 6
- Kand / Purple Yam – 50 gm
- Surti papdi – about 75 gms _ shelled and whole
- Matar / fresh green peas – 2 handfuls
- Potatoes – optional – 1 medium
- Sweet potato – 1 medium
Except for Brinjal, cut all the veggies into thickish batons, sauté in 1 TBSP oil and a pinch of salt till they slightly cook and don’t turn mushy - about 6 - 9 mins
Trim the stalks of the brinjals and make a slit lengthwise into quarters (top-bottom) but not all the way down.
Carefully take a generous portion of the stuffing, and stuff the brinjals taking care not to break them. DO this for all the brinjals. And reserve the stuffing
In a pan, heat remaining 2 TBSP oil, splutter cumin seeds, sauté the brinjals first. Sprinkle very little water and cook covered till they slightly turn slightly charred on the outside and about ¾ cooked (about 8-10 mins). Now remove them on to a plate. ( Pics 12, 13, 14, 15, 17 – of stage 2 collage)
Add the remaining filling masala, the other veggies (purple yam etc) and sauté the veggies. Add salt if required and let the veggies be coated fully with the masala.
(B) For the Muthias:
- Methi / Fenugreek leaves (fresh) – ½ cup
- Besan / Gram flour – ¼ cup
- Rice Powder – 2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Ajwain / carom seeds – a generous pinch
- Turmeric – a dash
- Warm water – a little (about 2-3 tsp)
Make a thick batter of all (except oil). Make even sized muthias (or pakora shaped roundels) and deep dry (well, you may pan fry but I wanted to indulge in this – its completely ok if a few deep fried muthias end up in your mouth too J). Drain on absorbent towels. (pic 10, 11 & 16 above)
(C) For the Assembly
In the veggies pan with the masala paste, now add the muthias too (about 20 mins before serving), add LOADS of fresh coriander.
Sprinkle some water, drizzle about 3-4 tsp of oil (to keep the dish moist) and simmer for 8-10 mins till all the veggies
Don’t wait any longer. Indulge with generous helpings alongside fresh hot phulkas or roti. Tastes yummy the next day, and the next, and the next !! (if it lasts that long in ur freezer….)