Bhogichi Bhaji (mixed veg curry specially made for Bhogi)
Kites of different shapes ,sizes and colours dot the sky as the sun commences its journey towards the Northern Hemisphere (onset of Uttarayan).The harvest festival-Makar Sankranti/Pongal/Lohri was celebrated (is still being celebrated) in most parts of India with all the traditional festivities and feasts.
Last Saturday was Bhogi-the first day of Makar Sankrant. Traditionally Maharashtrians prepare a mixed vegetable curry with the vegetables that are available in this sesason –to counter the cold winter.This recipe has been passed on from my grandmother to my mom and from my mom to me. Many of these recipes will serve as a link between me and my grandmother, whom I recently lost. I have learnt many such traditional recipes from her -the legacy she has left behind for me amongst other things.
Here’s a traditional Bhogichi Bhaji recipe dedicated to my dearest granny.
3 carrots peeled and diced
2 big potatoes peeled and diced
3-4 medium sized brinjals diced
½ cup fresh green chana/gram /Harbara (removed from the pods) or optionally fresh green peas
You can add any fresh vegetables available
1-1 ½ tsp green chilli paste (or crushed)
2 tsp roasted groundnut powder
2 tsp roasted sesame powder (roast the sesame and then powder)
Chopped fresh green coriander for garnishing
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
½ tsp cumene seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt as per taste
2 tsp oil
Heat oil in a pan.Do the tadka(cumene seeds,mustard seeds,turmeric powder).Add the green chilli paste. Add the veggies –potatoes,carrots, Harbara/Peas first. Add little salt and cook covered for a few minutes.Then add the brinjals and again cook covered till the veggies are soft (not mushy just soft). Add little water if required.Once the veggies are done add the sesame powder, groundnut powder mix nicely and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and lemon juice.Serve hot.
Traditionally this is served with Bajra –Sesame Bhakri. It tastes good with hot rotis too.
We sometimes add ber or bor (Indian Jujube) the small sweet and sour variety to the curry after the vegetables have been cooked, stalks removed and washed thoroughly.I did not add since my little one would not remove the Ber seeds and eat! But it adding ber gives a special taste to the recipe.
Happy Makar Sankranti/Pongal to all of you.
As they say here ‘Til Gul Ghya ani Goad Goad bola!’(Take Tilgul and speak sweetly-literal meaning)
Tilgul (Seasme snaps,Seasme ladoos,sugar halwa)
Related recipes:Sakkar Pongal
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