During month of August or September (on the eight day of Shravan Vad in Hindu calender) people in India celebrate Lord Krishna’s birth. The festival is known as Janmashtami. This year it was on August 24, 2019. People observed fast on that day. The next day which is called Parna, feast is prepared as an offering to god as well as to break a fast. The Panchrav (mixed) shaak (vegetables) is prepared as an offering which includes variety of vegetables available in the market. Only on that day vegetable mongers in Gujarat sell prepared mixed vegetables known as Patrali. All you need to add are root vegetables to make panchrav shaak. In the recipe, quantity of vegetables might seem too much, but as you cook them it will reduce almost in half. If some vegetables are not available, it should be fine. Try not to add onion and garlic. That way you will taste each vegetable separately in the mixed vegetables. Remaining shaak can be frozen for further use.
About 4 to 5 cups of mixed vegetables (like butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, etc.), finely cut
About 5 to 6 cups combined, green peas, green beans, corn kernels, papadi lilva, toover lilva (fresh pigeon peas), choli (Indian long green beans), suran (Indian yam), tindola (green ivy squash), etc. available in frozen section of Indian grocery stores
About 3 to 4 cups of mixed vegetables (like eggplant, potato, sweet potato, taro root, etc.) finely cut
About 2 cups methi (fenugreek leaves), frozen, available in frozen section of Indian grocery stores.
About 1 cup palak (spinach), frozen
2 to 3 jalapeno or serrano chilies, finely chopped
½ cup or more olive oil
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon asafetida
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons red chili powder
3 teaspoons dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
Salt to taste
Juice of one lime
½ cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
Heat ¼ cup oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle. Add asafetida, turmeric and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Immediately add first mixed vegetables and green chilies. Season with salt and stir to combine with spices. Cover the pot and let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom.
Uncover pot and add second mixed vegetables. Season with salt and stir to combine with other vegetables. Let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
Uncover pot and add third mixed vegetables. Season with salt and stir to combine with other vegetables. Let vegetables cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
Uncover pot and add methi and palak. Stir to combine with other vegetables and cover pot. Let vegetables cook for 10 to 12 minutes until you start to see oil on side of pot. Occasionally stir vegetables so they do not stick to bottom. If vegetables start to stick to bottom add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time.
Uncover pot and add remaining chili powder and dhana-jeeru. Stir shaak to combine with spices. Taste shaak and add salt if needed. Add lime juice. Let shaak cook on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. If shaak looks dry, add more oil 1 tablespoon at a time. By the time shaak is fully cooked, it should be glistening with oil. Before serving garnish with cilantro. Serve with warm puri.
This mixed vegetables recipe is quintessential Gujarati dish. It is a very famous dish from city of Surat in Gujarat. The variety of green beans called papadi used in this recipe are named after the city. The fresh papadi is available mostly in winter months in India. In US it is mostly available frozen in Indian grocery stores along with other vegetables. Most of the time, undhiyu is cooked on stove top but it is also cooked underground in a clay pot called matalu covered with food fire, known as matala undhiyu.
½ lb. frozen Surati papadi, thawed
½ lb. frozen Surati papadi lilva, thawed
¼ lb. frozen tuver lilva, thawed
¼ lb. frozen ratalu (purple yam), thawed
4 Indian eggplants
4 small yellow or red potatoes
1 sweet potato, 1 inch diced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ajwain seeds
4 teaspoons green garlic or 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup dhana-jeeru (spice blend of ground coriander and cumin)
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
4 teaspoons sugar or to taste
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ cup grated fresh coconut
Wash eggplants and potatoes, and pat dry. Make an X cut on ⅓ of eggplant on stemless side, keeping the stem. Make an X cut on ⅓ of potato on one side. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants and potatoes.
Combine spice mixture plus 2 tablespoons of cilantro, 1 tablespoon minced chili, 2 teaspoons garlic and 2 tablespoons oil into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside ½ of spice mixture. Gently widen an eggplant and stuff it by gently pushing stuffing down by hand. Try not to break it and not over stuff it. Repeat the same with rest of eggplants and potatoes. If any stuffing remains, add it to set aside spice mixture.
Heat remaining oil on a medium-high heat in a roasting pan or a Dutch oven until shimmering, 2 to 3 minutes. Add ajwain seeds and let them sizzle. Add remaining garlic and green chili. Sauté it for 30 seconds. Lower the heat to low while you arrange vegetables on top.
In a Dutch oven, first arrange stuffed eggplants and potatoes in single layer. On top arrange papadi, papadi lilva, tuver lilva. Spread ½ of spice mixture on top. Next arrange sweet potatoes and ratalu in single layer. Spread remaining spice mixture on top. Or in a roasting pan, arrange first eggplants vertically on one side, next arrange potatoes, and then arrange one by one papadi, papadi lilva, tuver lilva, sweet potatoes and ratalu. Spread spice mixture evenly on vegetables except eggplants and potatoes. Add ½ cup water in Dutch oven or roasting pan. Cover with lid or aluminum foil. You can either cook vegetables on stove top on medium heat or a preheated 375 degrees oven until vegetables are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Check on vegetables half way through cooking and stir gently with spice mixture. If vegetables are sticking to bottom, add more water.
Once vegetables are cooked, add muthia and stir to combine everything. Let undhiyu cook for 3 to 4 minutes, uncovered. Garnish with remaining cilantro before serving. Serve warm with puri or other Indian flat bread. Serve cilantro chutney, garlic chutney and thin sev (thin crispy chickpea flour noodles) on side to add to undhiyu to enhance the flavor.
This recipe is a fusion of Indian and Mexican flavors.
3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 ½ teaspoons chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 15 oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed
1 large poblano pepper, cut into ¼ inch dice
3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
⅛ teaspoon asafetida
10 to 12 fresh curry leaves
2 to 3 dry red chilies
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ cup grated fresh coconut
⅓ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon lime zest
Juice of half a lime
Salt to taste
18 to 20 small tortillas
1 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray. Transfer diced sweet potatoes to baking pan. Drizzle potatoes with canola oil. Season with salt, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder. Toss potatoes to coat with spices and make even layer of potatoes. Roast potatoes until edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
While potatoes are roasting, heat coconut oil in a large wok or frying pan until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and let then sizzle. Add asafetida, curry leaves, dry red chilies and let curry leaves fry for 30 seconds. Add turmeric and chili powder. Add poblano pepper and sauté it for a minute. Add chickpeas, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and coriander powder. Season with salt and stir everything to combine with spices. Let chickpeas cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Once sweet potatoes are roasted, combine them with chickpeas. Add coconut, cilantro and stir. Let potatoes and chickpeas cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Combine yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, and ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder into a small mixing bowl. Whisk yogurt with spices to make it smooth. Season with salt.
Heat tortilla on stove top or in a microwave. To serve taco, put about ¼ cup chickpeas and sweet potatoes on tortilla. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon chili-lime yogurt. Sprinkle with cheese. Other toppings can be added to taste.