The weekend is here, and you must be thinking of cooking something special for your family but if you are out of ideas, take a look at the following recipes. Furthermore, we have two delectable recipes for vegetarians and non-vegetarians, respectively.
Gujarati dishes are well known for various vegetarian cuisines, and Undhiyo is a popular one-pot vegetable dish. Although it takes a lot of time to prepare, the taste is worth the effort; surti pods (hyacinth peas) are one of the few vegetables in the dish. Undhiyu is so-called as it is derived from the Gujarati word “undhu”, which means upside down. Besides, traditionally people cook it in earthen pots wherein after they seal and place the pots upside down in a fire pit dug in the ground. The slow cooking in the earthen pots gives the dish a rustic flavour and taste.
Undhiyu is made during winters in southern Gujarat, as some of the veggies added to it are only available in the winter season. The veggies added in undhiyu are root veggies like purple yam (kand), regular yam, sweet potatoes and baby potatoes. The other veggies added are small brinjals, raw or ripe bananas, ivy gourds and Indian flat beans or surti papdi. In addition, fresh pigeon peas (tuvar lilva) are also added. In the absence of fresh pigeon peas, you can add fresh green peas or chickpeas.
First, String and pod the surti papdi beans. I used half-half of surti papdi (hyacinth beans) and valour papdi (fava beans). After stringing them and halving them, rinse very well. Strain and keep aside. I used 150 grams of beans which yielded 2 cups of stringed and podded beans. Next, In a bowl of water, peel, rinse and place the other veggies – 10 to 12 baby potatoes, one medium sweet potato, and 1.5 to 2 cups chopped purple yam. Also, keep 8 to 10 small brinjals. Note that only the upper stalk of the brinjals has been removed, and they have not been slit. You can also rinse and keep the brinjals aside.
Methi muthiya preparation
- Take 1 cup tightly packed methi leaves, finely chopped and 1 cup besan or gram flour in a mixing bowl. Add a pinch of baking soda, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ¼ tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tbsp oil, ¾ to 1 tsp sugar or add as required, ½ tsp salt or add as needed and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Just mix everything and keep aside covered for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Then add 1 to 1.5 tbsp water and mix well. Keep the mixture slightly sticky, so the methi muthia remains soft after cooking. Next, apply some oil to your palms and shape the muthias. Keep aside covered with a bowl or lid; deep fry methi muthia if you want. If fried, then add lastly once the undhiyu is done and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Masala stuffing mixture for Undhiyu
- Take ½ cup tightly packed grated coconut and 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves or ¼ cup finely chopped coriander leaves in another mixing bowl. In a mortar-pestle, crush 1 to 1.5-inch ginger to a paste, 8 to 10 garlic cloves and 2 to 3 green chillies. You can also grind all three of them together. If using a ready paste, add ½ tbsp ginger paste, ½ tbsp garlic paste, and ½ tbsp green chilli paste. You can also add garlic chives instead of garlic.
- Next, add 2 tbsp sesame seeds, ½ tbsp ginger paste, ½ tbsp garlic paste or green garlic chives paste, ½ tbsp green chilli paste, ¼ to ½ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, 3 tsp coriander powder, 2 tsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp sugar ¾ to 1 tsp salt.
- Mix very well, and then check the taste of the green masala. Add more lemon juice, salt or sugar if required.
- From the base, give a criss-cross slit to the brinjals and stuff the masala. In the same way, also, stuff the masala in the potatoes. If you want, you can also stuff the masala in the raw bananas. Keep the stuffed veggies aside. Some stuffing masala will be left. Keep this aside.
- Heat 4 to 5 tbsp sesame or peanut oil in a pressure cooker. Add ½ tsp ajwain or carom seeds & ½ tsp cumin seeds. Stir and fry the ajwain and cumin seeds till they change their colour—a few seconds. You can also use sunflower oil or safflower oil. Then add ⅛ tsp asafoetida/hing. Stir. Now add the stringed and podded beans. If you are using fresh pigeon peas, you can add them at this step. Stir well, and to preserve the green colour of the beans, you can add a pinch of soda.
- Now add half a portion of the leftover coconut masala. Again, stir well and saute for 3 minutes on a low to medium flame. Then lower the flame and make a neat layer of the beans at the bottom. Next, place the chopped purple yam in a neat layer and create another layer of chopped unripe bananas and sweet potato. Now sprinkle ¼ of the coconut masala evenly. Don’t stir.
- Make a next layer of the stuffed brinjals and potatoes, then Add ½ cup of water from the sides. Don’t stir; gently place the prepared methi muthia in a layer. Sprinkle 2 to 3 pinches of salt all over. Cover the pressure cooker with its lid and pressure cook on a medium to high flame for two whistles or 8 to 10 minutes.
- When the pressure settles down, remove the lid and gently mix everything without breaking the stuffed veggies. Garnish it with grated coconut and chopped coriander; undhiyo goes well with puris.
Laal Maas means read meat in Hindi; it is a traditional Rajasthani mutton curry wherein people use several masalas, which gives a distinct taste to the dish. First, Dry roast the red chillies to provide them with a pleasant distinctive aroma which adds great flavour to the dish and add coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Then, grind them to a fine-textured powder.
Heat some mustard oil in a pan and add the garlic and ginger; once the garlic turns slightly brown, add the lamb pieces. Then add salt as per the taste and mix everything. Next, add one small cup of kachri powder (kachri is a dried vegetable, a variety of cucumbers found in Rajasthan and ground into a powder). You can also use dried mango powder if you can’t find kachri powder.
Add the chopped onions and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Once the onions have roasted well, add the whole spices, which are
- 3-4 cardamom pods
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- One cinnamon stick
- A pinch of mace
- One pod black cardamom
Add the chilly red powder and let it roast for about a minute, and add enough water to cook the lamb. Cover it and let it simmer for a couple of minutes till the meat is cooked. Once the meat is cooked, take out all the pieces on a platter and strain the gravy.
Once the meat is cooked, take out all the pieces on a platter and strain the gravy; straining the gravy removes all the whole spices and keeps the essence and flavours intact. Next, add the lamb pieces you had taken out to the refined sauce and put them back on fire with low heat.
Add about 1/2 cup of water and coriander leaves and let it simmer for a while; when the gravy reaches a good consistency, turn off the heat. Serve hot with a good garnishing of chopped coriander leaves.