Undhiyu-inspired Mixed Vegetable
Here’s a Dussehra special for you - Gujarati Undhiyu-inspired mixed vegetable!. Undhiyu is the tastiest, most complex, flavourful vegetarian dish that I have ever had. It’s a traditional winter season dish and uses up to 10 vegetables and steamed methi/fenugreek muthias/dumplings and many many herbs and spices. It’s been an annual ritual in my mother’s house in Bombay and I wait for it every year (it even freezes well, believe it or not). When my husband's office garden recently sent home a bag that contained flat beans/avarakkai (which reminded me of Surti papdi) and brinjal together, I thought of undhiyu. I decided to re-create the flavour using local and seasonal vegetables available here in Chennai and since my precious mother is here with me, we worked it out. This took over one hour to cook, because of the potatoes, but the flavour was WOW! I’ve made this 4 times in the past 3 weeks. This means that it’s simple and not complicated once you have the ingredients at hand. That should be reason enough to persuade you to try it, right?
If could have a dinner party these days, this would be the star of my table. Presenting slow-cooked undhiyu-inspired mixed vegetable that you can make all year round 😃. Do try it and let me know. Feel free to add in vegetables of your choice too - sweet potato, raw banana, yams, etc., and adjust the cooking method/time accordingly.
300g small brinjals
250g flat hyacinth beans/papdi/avarakai (cluster beans, green beans or peas)
300g medium-small potatoes, or big ones cut in large chunks
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon ajwain seeds
A few pinches of hing/asafoetida
Green Masala stuffing
15-20 small cloves of garlic, smashed/chopped fine
1” ginger, grated
2 green chillies, chopped fine
A full bunch of coriander leaves or 2 cups
1/3 cup grated coconut or dessicated, if not available where you live
3 teaspoons dhania/coriander powder
1.5 teaspoons jeera/cumin powder
1.5 teaspoons red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon haldi/turmeric powder
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon Kasuri methi, crushed
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons sugar
Mix all the fresh and ground spices together and prepare the green masala stuffing.
Slit the brinjals in a cross at the base till halfway, slit the potatoes the same way if they are small or cut in long large chunks. String and chop the beans in half.
Stuff the brinjals and potatos with the green masala mix, reserving some.
Take the largest pan/wok with a lid and heat the oil and sauté the ajwain and add in the hing.
Immediately put in the potatoes and let them cook/ brown for 5-10 minutes. Cover the pan. Turn the potatoes after a few minutes.
Then gently add/place the stuffed brinjals in the pan, scatter the beans, and sprinkle the remaining stuffing.
Put the pan on low heat, cover, and slow-cook until the potatoes and vegetables are done.
Garnish with some more fresh coriander and serve with chapatis or puris.