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Winter brings with it an array of seasonal vegetables and fruits, and each state or region in India makes the most of them to make delicious eats. Gujarat celebrates winter produce with undhiyu. Never heard of it? Tap to read all about it.
Undhiyu is a one-pot mixed vegetable dish that is traditionally relished with either steamed rice or hot, fluffy wheat puris. According to Maharaj Jodharam Choudhary, corporate chef at Khandani Rajdhani, it originated in southern Gujarat in pre-industrial India.
Undhiyu recipe differs from city to city in Gujarat but the most common ingredients used to create it are: papdi, purple yam, sweet potatoes, raw bananas, fresh pigeon peas, baby potatoes, baby brinjals and muthiyas (fried fenugreek and flour balls).
All these ingredients (and more) are slow-cooked in cooking oil (preferably, peanut) with a flavour bomb-like mixture of grated fresh coconut, green garlic, green chillies and coriander leaves. Some people add garam masala, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, a couple of other spice powders to enhance flavour of undhiyu.
As you travel across Gujarat, the recipe of undhiyu changes depending on the availability of ingredients and locals’ flavour preferences. Surat and Navsari have coconut in their masala mix and their undhiyu more chatpata (piquant) in taste,” explains Chef Choudhary.
“However, the undhiyu recipe prepared in the north-west of Gujarat doesn’t contain coconut and is spicier,” he adds.
Undhiyu has a non-vegetarian version too, which is created by the Bohri community in the state. The Bohri undhiyu recipe is the same as the original but we replace the muthiyas for mutton.
Undhiyu is a favourite on Makar Sankranti along with fafda-jalebi. The popularity of this Gujarati dish is such that every year, January 14 is celebrated as National Undhiyu Day.