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.
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.