Bhogichi Bhaji (Traditional maharashtrian mix vegetable curry)

I love to celebrate holidays! I love to think and reflect back on memories of my childhood when my mom’s energy and enthusiasm filled our home with excitement and happiness! She would make some special dishes, desserts and we always had family and friends to share and enjoy with. Now, I love to take time for my family for every festival and make sure we do something special. We talk about the festival and why it is celebrated. And of course, it always includes the traditional dishes and sweets we savor together as a family.

Today, we celebrate the first of the three day celebration of Makar Sankranti. In India, Makar Sankranti symbolizes the end of the winter solstice and the monsoon, and the beginning of the harvest season. Some states celebrate this festival for up to four days. In Maharashtra, where I come from, this festival is celebrated for three days. On the first day which is ‘Bhogi’,  we make this special dish that celebrates the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables along with coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds. It provides the much needed warmth and nourishment to the body during winters.

This super healthy dish consisting of five different winter vegetables is passed  from generation to generation and is an integral part of this festive celebration. Today I am sharing my grandma’s recipe that uses carrots, fresh green chickpeas, flat green beans, baby eggplant and tomatoes. You can always substitute with any seasonal winter vegetables. I like it with multi-grain or millet bread topped with sesame seeds.

Here are the vegetables I traditionally use. The sauce is so yummy that it also taste greats with other vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower or string beans.

bhogichibhaji

I usually prepare the flat green green beans and peel the fresh chickpeas out of the pods few days before:

IMG_7572

Recipe:

Prep time: 15 mins  Cooking time:15 mins    Total time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

Part 1:
1/2 cup fresh green chickpeas removed from the pods.
1 cup flat green beans cut into 1 inch pieces.
6 baby eggplant cut into bite size pieces
1 tomato chopped fine
2 small carrots peeled and chopped
1 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin and coriander powder
1tbsp red chili powder
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish

Part 2:
1 tbsp roasted dry coconut
1 tbsp roasted peanuts
1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
1/2 tbsp grated ginger
6 garlic cloves

Directions:

  1. Make fine paste of all the ingredients from Part 2 with 2 tbsp of water.
  2. Heat oil in a medium pan. Add the spice paste to the oil and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add turmeric, red chili powder, cumin and coriander powder and mix well.
  3. Add all cut vegetables and mix well. Add salt and 1 cup water. Once the water starts to bubble up, cover the pan and cook on medium low heat until all the vegetables are cooked tender. Usually takes around 10 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm Roti topped with sesame seeds. Tastes divine without any bread too!

ENJOY!

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