India is rich in everything. Especially food- we have many different types of cuisines – south indian – chettinad, kerala etc, north indian – gujarati, rajasthani, bengali, kathiawadi and so on…..Being vegetarians we love the gujarati cuisine a lot! It could also be due to the fact that we have tons of gujju friends and have relished authentic gujarati food at their homes. Recently I tried out some of the major dishes out of this cuisines after getting some recipes from my friends and put together a gujarati thali as a surprise for Harish … Needless to say he was ecstatic…A few snaps of the thali we had at home are given below 🙂
So for the next couple of postings I am going to share some of these recipes that I tried out…Today I share a very traditional gujarati dish called ‘Undhiyu’ – Undhiyu is a Gujarati mixed vegetable casserole that is a regional specialty of Gujarat, India. The name of this dish comes from the Gujarati words “matlu” meaning earthen pot and “undhu” meaning upside down since they have been traditionally cooked upside down underground in earthen pots fired from above. The dish is a seasonal one, comprising the vegetables that are available on the South Gujarat costline during the winter season, including (amongst others) green beans, unripe banana,muthia, and purple yam. These are cooked in a spicy curry that sometimes includes coconut. Undhiyu with puri and shrikhand is often eaten in Gujarati houses during winter season. There are two types of Undhiyo. Surti Undhiyo, which has a gravy and is close to being a curry, and then there is Matka Undhiyo. This is more exotic, where you fill earthen pots with vegatables and spices and then bake it in a hearth.
Gujrati thali with undhiyu
1/2 cup valor lilva (this is the tradionally used one. though you can add any other lentil beans you like – kala chana, chickpeas, black-eyed beans, lima beans etc)
1 cup purple yam chunks (kand/ratalu) – peeled and fried
1 cup sweet potato chunks – fried
4 tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. ajwain
salt to taste
Sugar according to taste
2 tbsp coconut grated.
100 gms. methi leaves finely chopped (i took a bunch)
4 tbsp heaped cup gram flour (besan)
2 tbsp whole wheat atta ( or you can also take 1 tbsp each Juwar and corn flour)
1 tsp. red chilli powder
asafoetida – a pinch
salt to taste
1 tbsp. oil
water to need the dough
Mix all the ingredients for Muthiya & make stiff dough. Form into small oval, dumplings. Heat about 1/4 th cup oil, and saute the muthias for about 2 minutes. Remove from oil and keep aside. You can also deep fry these..shallow frying is more healthier. I normally make a large bunch of these little muthiyas and use whatever is required and freeze the remaining for later use. the muthiyas are also eaten as a tea time snack.
Muthiyas before frying.
Heat 4 tbsp oil into the pressure cooker, add ajwain and asafoetida. Add eggplant, valor lilva and surti papdi . Add turmeric powder, the jaggery(or sugar) and other powdered spices and the ground paste(add only 3/4 portion of the paste and keep aside the remaining portion to add later) as well. Now add crushed peanut, sesame seeds, cashews and raisins(Add yam(ratalu) and potatoes at this time if you don’t want to fry them). Also add salt according to your taste. Close the pressure cooker and listen about 4-5 whistles.
The ground paste
Veggies – Brinjal, ratalu, suran(yam), sweet potatoes, avarrakai(surti papdi), valor lilva.
Once the masalas, pastes are added and veggies are ready to be cooked in cooker.
When done, open the cooker and add all other fried chunky vegetables and stir well. Add the remaining ground paste that you had set aside. Add about 8-10 muthiyas that is fried and ready. If the muthiya pieces are long, cut them in half and serve. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add coriander, lemon(optional), and sprinkle some water if required. Add salt according to taste and mix well. Cover with a lid and let it cook for another 2-3 mins, until all veggies are cooked and the spices are blended well.
Once all the veggies and muthiyas are added.
1) If you are not making fresh muthiyas, but are using frozen or refrigerated ones made earlier, soak the muthiyas for about 5 minutes in hot water and squeeze them of water before adding them to the undhiyu. This is make them soft and tasty. Otherwise they may be hard due to refrigeration.
2) Traditionally the vegetables used- potatoes, sweet potatoes, suran(yam), ratalu(purple yam) etc are all fried and added. You can avoid the frying part by just adding the veggies to the cooker in the first step and just cooking all together. But I found this method resulted in the veggies getting mushy and the vegetables did not retain the shape. So to make it more healthy, I like to just cook them in the microwave with water, drain and then add them to the undhiyo. This way their shape is preserved and its healthy too.
You can have a look at a video I found in youtube that shows how the traditional favorite gujarati recipe called Umbadiyu, another way of making Undhiu – is made.