nitaliblogs

Makar Sankranti Special: Bhogichi Bhaji

Carrots, beans (two types) and eggplant..

Carrots, beans (two types) and eggplant..

fresh green peas, pigeon peas and chickpeas..

fresh green peas, pigeon peas and chickpeas..

The veggies go into the pot...

The veggies go into the pot…

Sittred in with the oil, ready to slow cook..

Sittred in with the oil, ready to slow cook..

Bhogichi Bhaji..

Bhogichi Bhaji..

Bhogicha taat (thali/full spread), clockwise from left: Mirchicha thecha, vangyacha bharit, bhogichi bhaji, ambil and bajrichi bhakri. Centre: moong dal khichadi...

Bhogicha taat (thali/full spread), clockwise from left: Mirchicha thecha, vangyacha bharit, bhogichi bhaji, ambil and bajrichi bhakri. Centre: moong dal khichadi…

IMG_2562

In my last post, I had written about how Makar Sankranti is celibrated all over India as a harvest festival, to thank nature for its gracious blessing. The day before Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Bhogi in Maharashtra and the food prepared on this day truly celebrates the beautiful winter produce. On this day, the food typically consists of Bhogichi Bhaji, a mixed vegetable made with winter veggies and slow cooked on fire; served with Bajri (pearl millet) Bhakris (flatbreads) that are made with sesame. The vegetable is cooked quite simply, so that the flavours of all the fresh winter veggies shine through; but it the actual cleaning and prepping of the vegetables that is very time consuming. The main spice used the Maharashtrian Goda Masala, a robust spice blend from the region.

Here goes the traditional recipe for Bhogichi Bhaji.

Ingredients:

200 gm Waal papdi (field beans), stringed, beans removed and kept separately and shell chopped;

1 cup taaza Chana/Harbhara (Fresh Chick peas/Bengal gram);

1 cup taazi tuvar (fresh pigeon peas);

1 Carrot, chopped into 2 inch long pieces;

1 long green eggplant, cut into thick 1 inch long roundels;

1 cup fresh matar (shelled fresh green peas);

100gm Surti Papdi (flat Beans), stringed and chopped;

3 green chilles, cut slitwise;

1 tbsp Maharashtrian Goda Masala;

2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds;

Salt to taste.

For the Tempering: 1tbsp Oil, ½ tsp mustard seeds, ½ tsp cumin seeds, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, a generous pinch of asafetida.

Method:

  1. Clean, wash and prep all the vegetables and keep them ready as mentioned above.
  2. Heat oil in a vessel with a thick base (I used a brass pot), until the oil starts smoking. Add mustard and cumin seeds and allow them to crackle.
  3. Add the turmeric and asafetida and then add the slit green chillies.
  4. Now add all the vegetables one after the other and stir them with the oil quickly.
  5. Cover and cook the vegetables over verly low heat until the vegetables are half cooked.
  6. Then remove the lid and add salt, sesame seeds and Maharashtrian Goda Masala to the vegetables. Mix quickly and place the lid back on.
  7. Continue cooking the vegetables on very low heat until they are well cooked, yet not too mushy that they can’t hold their shape.
  8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with Bajri Bhakris and other winter goodies.

Note:

  1. The vegetables are all cooked in their own juices without any added water. So it is necessary to slow cook on low heat to avoid the vegetables from burning.
  2. You can add more vegetables like potatoes, fenugreek leaves and fresh peanuts to the mix.
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