Undhiyu is a kind of vegetable dish from Gujarat, typically made during winters to celebrate the abundance of fresh vegetables available in the market then. Traditionally, in Gujarati homes, it is made in a much more complicated way than the method I use – it is made in an earthen pot, with the vegetables being stuffed with masala and arranged in layers, then allowed to slowly cook over a chulha. My version is much more simple, and involves the use of a pressure cooker, but it tastes just as good as the traditional undhiyu, if not better.
I love undhiyu, and not making it at least once during the winter months is sacrilege for me – something that I continue to grumble about throughout the rest of the year. 🙂 Following my tradition, I made my version of the undhiyu last week, and it turned out super yummy!
Here’s the recipe I use, in case you are interested. This one is highly customised to individual tastes, so feel free to modify it according to your preferences.
Ingredients and method (makes 4-6 servings):
For the muthiya:
About 1 cup of besan
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste
A bit of finely chopped coriander leaves
A handful of finely chopped methi leaves
Red chilli powder to taste
Turmeric powder to taste
Oil to fry
Method: Take all the ingredients for the muthiya in a large bowl, except the oil. Add as much water as necessary to make a batter, which is just the right consistency for making little balls out of it and frying them. Heat the oil in a pan, and drop the balls of batter into it a few at a time. Deep fry them and keep them aside.
For the hara masala:
8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
A fistful of fresh coriander leaves
About 3 tablespoons of coconut
2-3 green chillies
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
Method: Grind everything together in a mixer, adding a little water. Keep aside.
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon of oil
Sugar to taste (alternatively, you can also use crushed jaggery)
Turmeric powder to taste
1 teaspoon of ajwain (omam)
Lemon juice to taste
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of sesame seeds (til or yellu)
A pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Dessicated fresh coconut for garnishing (optional)
Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
Finely chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish (optional)
About 3 large bowls of vegetables (chopped into large pieces) – you can use most vegetables here. I commonly use carrot, cauliflower, potatoes, elephant yam, brinjals, sweet potatoes, green peas, fresh pigeon peas (tuvar), broad beans (avarekkai). Ensure that you use a lot of pigeon peas and green peas, though, because that comprises the life of this dish. 🙂
1. Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a pressure cooker bottom (This is because I make this dish directly in the pressure cooker). Once the oil is hot, add the hing and mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
2. Add the sesame seeds and ajwain, and leave them in the oil for a second.
3. Add the hara masala and mix everything well together. Let it cook for a few minutes. Ensure that you do not overcook it, as this will lead to the undhiyu losing its delicious smell. 🙂 Also, you will be cooking everything together in the pressure cooker later, anyway.
4. Add the chopped vegetables and salt, sugar/crushed jaggery, red chilli powder (if using) and turmeric powder to taste. Mix well and let it cook for a few minutes.
5. Close the pressure cooker after adding 2 cups of water, from the sides. Give it 4 whistles. (I add just enough water for the vegetables to cook, as I do not like the curry too watery.)
6. Once the steam escapes and you are able to open the pressure cooker, add the lemon juice and muthiya to the vegetables. Mix well. Garnish with finely chopped, fresh coriander and dessicated coconut if you want to.
There, a healthier (comparitively), easier (comparitively) and yummy version of undhiyu is ready! Hot undhiyu goes extremely well with hot phulka rotis.
Note: Some people add the muthiya into the dish just before serving, as they tend to become soggy and lose shape if added immediately. I like adding them immediately, though, for I feel they absorb the flavours of the undhiyu very well that way, and taste yummier.
Go on, try this out and tell me how it turned out!
If you have any undhiyu tales of your own, please do tell! I would love to hear them! 🙂