Category Archives: Side Dishes

Undiyu (Gujarati mixed vegetable curry)

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As part of Writing 101, our prompt today is to choose a place that we would like to be transported to. This could either be some place in the past or a place I would like to one-day visit in the future. I decided to pick a recipe from childhood, probably because nostalgia is such a strong thing. The recipe I’m sharing today is called Undhiyu. It’s a Gujarati vegetable curry consisting of interesting winter veggies from India. This dish is usually made during the winter months since it is quite a hearty dish or on special occasions (read guests coming over). I’ve always eaten Undhiyu when we used to visit my aunt’s family, who are Gujarati. My aunt’s mother used to make delicious Undhiyu, and serve it thali style, accompanied with thin and fluffy phulkas (a kind of Indian bread) and thick mango juice in a cup beside the bread. As I write this recipe, I think back about the fun afternoons we shared at my aunt’s, enjoying delicious food, playing in the park with my cousins and finishing it up with some fun card games. This recipe is requires some preparation, especially procuring different veggies that lend a unique take to this dish. Also, the traditional recipe is time consuming but I made pressure cooker version that helped cut down my cooking time. This was the first time I tried making this dish and I was very happy with the result. The H approached it gingerly, as he would with any unfamiliar dish, but he liked it as well, so I was happy with the experiment and the effort.

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The recipe:

Source – Bhavna Patel + my aunt

Preparation time – 30 minutes

Cooking time – 15 minutes

Serves – 4

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the muthiyas

  • 1 cup methi (fenugreek) leaves
  • ½ cup wheat flour
  • ¼ cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • A pinch of fruit salt
  • Salt to taste
  • A few tbsp oil to fry

For the masala

  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 6 green chillies
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp crushed jaggery or sugar
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

Veggies

  • 1 cup tender Indian beans (surti papdi in Hindi, avarekalu in Kannada and mochaika in Tamil)
  • 1 cup cubed yams (I used purple yam like they traditionally do in Gujarat)
  • 6 baby eggplants
  • 2 baby potatoes
  • 1 cup green peas

For tempering

  • 1 tsp carom seeds
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil

How to make it

Undhiyu

Muthiyas

  1. Mix all the ingredients listed under ‘muthiyas’ above, using a little water if required to form a stiff dough.
  2. Break small balls and shape them into cylinders as shown in the picture.
  3. Shallow fry on medium flame until golden brown on the outside. Make sure not to have the oil too hot, to ensure the inside is cooked as well. Remove from the oil and pat dry on a paper towel.

Making the masala

  1. Grind the chillies, ginger and garlic into a coarse paste.
  2. Add it to the chopped coriander. Mix with all the other ingredients listed under ‘For the masala’.

Preparing the veggies

  1. Slit all the baby eggplants from the side up, keeping the top in tact. Do the same with the baby potatoes
  2. Now take some of the masala which you’ve just prepared, add a tbsp. besan to this and mix well.
  3. Use this to stuff the baby eggplants and potatoes and keep aside.
  4. Wash and peel most of the Indian beans. If using very tender Indian beans, you can add them in whole like I did.

Making the curry

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Once hot, add carom seeds and reduce the heat.
  2. Add the masala paste followed by the stuffed baby eggplants and baby potatoes
  3. Add the rest of the veggies and stir gently, making sure not to disturb the stuffed veggies.
  4. Add the fried muthiyas, which were prepared earlier.
  5. Add a cup or water and close the pressure cooker. Cook until you hear 3 whistles on medium heat (the Indian beans might take a little time to cook until tender).
  6. Open the cooker once it is cool. Mix everything together and give it a taste test.
  7. Serve hot with rotis or steamed rice. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Additional notes:

  1. My recipe is not traditional, since I did not use all the veggies that this dish normally calls for. Other veggies that can be added include sweet potatoes, regular yams, fresh tuvar beans and plantain and fresh garlic leaves.
  2. Undhiyu is traditionally served with cut pieces of ripe banana on top of the curry. But I’m not a big fan of banana, especially in savory dishes; hence I’ve eliminated this.
  3. This was my first attempt at Undhiyu and I did not want to stray too far away from the recipe and hence I fried the muthiyas. But I’ve been reading that it’s also possible to steam them. So the next time I will try that technique.
  4. I used frozen Indian beans and purple yams due to lack of fresh counterparts. But this helped to cut my preparation time. 🙂 If you area using fresh veggies, preparing and dicing some of the veggies might take slightly longer.
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Mixed Vegetable Kootu

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Today I’d like to share the recipe for mixed vegetable kootu. It is a popular dish from the state of Tamil Nadu and forms an integral part of tamil feasts. It is a healthy combination of different types of veggies, lentils and a freshly ground paste of coconut and spices. While we were growing up, my mum regularly made different types of kootus, slightly varying the ingrdients and my sister and I loved it absolutely. I on the other hand don’t make them as often. I’m waiting to come into possession of a little jar that would be ideal for grinding masalas. Until then I need to manage with my big blending jar. Enough about my travails of being away from home, let’s get down to business. 🙂

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The Recipe:

Source – Mum

Cooking time – 30 minutes

Serves – 3-4

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup dal (you can use toor dal or moong dal)
  • 1 cup of chopped vegetables (carrots, peas, french beans, cauliflower, cabbage)
  • 1 tomato roughly chopped (optional)
  • 4 heaped tbsp of grated coconut
  • 2 – 4 dried chillies (depending on the level of hotness you can handle)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A generous pinch of hing
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Salt to taste

For the seasoning (Optional)

  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • A few curry leaves
  • 2 tsp oil

How to make it:

  1. Add a pinch of turmeric and cook dal with sufficient water. If you plan to use moong dal then roast it in a pan for a 2 – 3 minutes. It brings out a nice flavor. If you’re using toor dal, then I recommend you use the pressure cooker to speed things up.
  2. Take the cooked dal in a vessel, add 1 – 1.5 cups of water and the chopped vegetables, tomatoes and salt and cook for 15 minutes. I used only cauliflower and tomatoes today.
  3. While the dal and veggies are cooking, grind the coconut, cumin seeds, and dried chillies into a fine paste. Add this paste and a pinch of hing to boiling mixture when the veggies are 3/4th done. Boil for 5 more minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and wait till they crackle. Turn off the heat, add the dried chilli and curry leaves and quickly pour it over the kootu. (The kootu tastes great even if you don’t season)

Heeray Kaayi Mosaru Bajji (Ridge gourd raita)

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This is an interesting recipe for a raita, quite different from the conventional raita recipes but fairly simple to whip up. This dish has Havyaka origins from Karnataka, but it has been modified and innovated upon as it changed hands in my family. I borrowed this recipe from my mum. A cool thing with this dish is that its goes down well even with those who don’t usually like members of the gourd family. I have the husband as proof of that. 🙂

The recipe:

Preparation time – 5 minutes

Cooking time – 10 minutes

Serves 4

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ridge gourd (Thurai in Hindi/Heeraykai in Kannada/Peerkangai in Tamil)
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut (fresh/frozen)
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (til)
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups of yogurt/curd

How to make it:

1. Wash, peel and chop up the ridge gourd into medium sized bits. You don’t have to be too careful with chopping since we’re cooking them very soon.

2. Heat the oil in a pan. When sufficiently warm, add in the chillies, urad dal and sesame seeds and fry until the dal turns golden brown ( it takes very little time).

3. Once the urad dal and sesame seeds are roasted add in the chopped ridge gourd and cook until it turns soft (around 5 – 7 minutes). Let this mixture cook for a bit.

4. Blend the cooked mixture, coconut, hing and salt in a mixer (or with a hand blender) into a fairly smooth pulp.

5. Add in the yogurt and give it just one whizz in the mixer and the raita is ready.

You can serve it along with rice, as a side dish to Sambar or Rasam. It tastes best when you use cold yogurt or chill it before serving. I love using this as a dip with dosas as well.

Until next time…keep the curry leaves ready!