Undhiyu

Undhiyu is a speciality dish and one of the most popular element of Gujarati cuisine. As the name itself indicates, the dish is usually made with the vegetables that are generally available in South Gujarat coastline during the winter season. It is basically a mixed vegetable casserole that is traditionally cooked in upside down underground in earthen pots fired from above. Hence called Matlu Undhiyu, where ‘Matlu’ means earthen pot and ‘Undhu’ means upside down.

Since the dish is more of seasonal kind, the vegetables are generally the ones available fresh during the winter season in the region namely green beans, yam, purple yam, fresh pigeon peas, unripe bananas, small eggplants, potatoes, sweet potatoes and sometimes even plantain. Muthias (fritters or dumplings made with fresh fenugreek leaves, chickpea flour, wheat flour and spices) are added to the dish. All this is spiced with a flavourful semi dry green spice mix typically consisting of cilantro, ginger, garlic (including garlic with shoots), fresh grated coconut, green chillies, sesame seeds, lemon juice, salt and sugar or jaggery. Traditionally the dish is slow cooked and uses minimum water. The resultant preparation is a semi dry with the spices lightly coating the vegetable pieces and the veggies retaining their form as much as possible. Garnish with chopped cilantro and fresh grated coconut and serve hot with pooris and parathas.

This is a very popular dish of the region and is prepared in every Gujarati family on special occasions during the season with much love and enthusiasm. Every family makes it with their own variations and inclusions and love to eat at least once a year and especially during Makar Sankranti. 

 

Undhiyu Recipe

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Yield: Serves: 6 - 8

Ingredients

- THE VEGETABLES - 

  • Baby Potatoes: 6-7, peeled and slit in criss-cross
  • Purple Yam/ Kand: 1 cup, peeled and chopped
  • Unripe Banana: 1, peeled and chopped
  • Small Egg plants: 5-6, slit criss-cross
  • Surti Papdi (Broad Beans): 1 cup, strings removed
  • Fresh Tuvar (Pigeon Peas): ½ cup
  • Sweet Potatoes: 1 cup, peeled and chopped

 

- FOR MAKING MUTHIAS - 

  • Gram Flour (Besan): 1 cup
  • Wheat Flour (Atta): ½ cup
  • Fresh Fenugreek Leaves:1 ½ cup, plucked, washed and chopped
  • Green Chillies: 2, finely chopped
  • Carom Seeds (Ajwain): 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger Paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder: ¼ teaspoon
  • Red Chilli Powder:1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt: As per taste
  • Oil: 2 tablespoon + for frying
  • Baking Soda: ½ teaspoon
  • Water: As per requirement

 

- FOR THE GREEN MASALA - 

  • Garlic: 6-8 cloves
  • Green Garlic: A bunch, garlic along with the shoots
  • Ginger: 1 ½ inches
  • Cilantro: 2 cups, chopped
  • Sesame Seeds: ½ teaspoon
  • Green Chillies: 2-3
  • Coconut: ½ cup freshly grated
  • Salt: As per taste
  • Sugar: As per taste
  • Lemon Juice: 1 tablespoon

 

- OTHER INGREDIENTS - 

  • Asafoetida: A pinch
  • Carom Seeds: ½ teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder: 2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
  • Oil: 5-6 tablespoon
  • Water: As per requirement
  • Salt: As per taste
  • Cilantro: ½ cup (for garnish)
  • Freshly Grated Coconut: ½ cup (for garnish)

Method

- FOR MAKING MUTHIAS - 

  1. Mix all the ingredients except oil, in a bowl.
  2. Adding very little water, prepare a firm and rather stiff dough. Divide the dough into equal portions and shape into ½ inch long rolls.
  3. Deep fry in oil. Remove on an absorbent paper lined plate and keep aside.

 

- FOR MAKING UNDHIYU - 

  1. Grind the ingredients for green masala into a coarse paste.
     
  2. Stuff the potatoes and eggplants with the green masala mixture. Keep the remaining mix aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed pan or pressure cooker. Fry the yam, sweet potatoes, purple yam and unripe bananas. Take out and keep aside.
  4. In the oil add asafoetida and carom seeds. As the seeds splutter and start changing colour, add the stringed and podded beans and also the fresh pigeon peas.
  5. Add half of the leftover green masala. Mix well.
  6. Sprinkle turmeric powder. Stir well and sauté on low flame for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Now add the rest of the vegetables in layers one on top of the other, interspersed with the green masala.
  8. Now arrange the stuffed eggplants and potatoes. Add the last batch of green masala. Cook on low to medium heat for around 5 minutes. Do not stir with spoon. Shake the pan occasionally to mix the vegetables.
  9. Pour in 1 cup of water from the sides.
  10. Place the muthias on top.
  11. Cover the lid of the cooker and cook on medium flame to give 1 whistle. Turn off the heat and let the pressure release on its own.
  12. Garnish with chopped cilantro and grated coconut. Serve hot Pooris and Paratha.