Pressure Cooker Undhiyu| Gujarati Mixed Vegetable Curry

For me, winter is incomplete without gorging on Undhiyu at least a few times. I grew up in an undhiyu-making South Indian family in Gujarat, and can’t not make it when all those glorious winter veggies are at their bountiful best. That’s so not done! We make a relatively healthy version, in a pressure cooker, as opposed to the way it is traditionally made. I’m here today to share with you all our easy recipe for Pressure Cooker Undhiyu.

What is Undhiyu?

If you are wondering what on earth Undhiyu is, let me begin by telling you that it is a celebration of winter, of all the lovely vegetables that are in season in the cold months. Think yam, carrots, sweet potatoes, hyacinth beans, pigeon peas, fenugreek leaves…

Undhiyu is a Gujarati dish, made using a mix of these winter vegetables. Traditionally, Undhiyu is made in an earthen pot or matka – the veggies are stuffed with a fragrant coriander-coconut-peanut masala, then layered in the pot, then sealed and set upside down to cook in a sand-covered pit. The name of the dish comes from the process of inverting the pot for cooking – inverting is ‘undhu‘ in Gujarati, hence ‘Undhiyu‘. It is also referred to as ‘Matla Undhiyu‘, thanks to the way it is cooked in an earthen pot (‘matlu‘ in Gujarati).

It is sheer delight, this dish. It is so flavourful and hearty that it would make one fall in love with winter veggies, if they aren’t already. For Gujaratis, Undhiyu is more than just a dish. It’s an emotion, as it is for me too. It is a popular accompaniment to pooris and phulka rotis in Gujarat, a must-have on the festival of Uttarayan.

About Pressure Cooker Undhiyu

The traditional method of making undhiyu is quite laborious and time-consuming. Moreover, these days, hardly anyone has access to a sand pit where one can cook! πŸ™‚ With time, Undhiyu began to be cooked in a pan on the stovetop, but the process still remained tedious and tiring. This Pressure Cooker Undhiyu is a rather simple, much easier way of cooking the dish – a cheat’s version, if you want to put it that way.

Once you have the veggies chopped and some basic prep work ready, making the Pressure Cooker Undhiyu is a matter of minutes. I don’t stuff the vegetables with masala, but add it as is to the pressure cooker – works just fine! It needs very little oil, as opposed to the oodles that goes into making Matla Undhiyu. I don’t deep-fry the veggies, the way I have seen some Gujarati families doing. I do deep-fry the Muthiya or fenugreek-leaf dumplings that go into the Undhiyu, but you could make them in an appe/paniyaram pan if you want to cut down further on the amount of oil used.

How to make Undhiyu in a pressure cooker


Let’s get to the recipe for the Pressure Cooker Undhiyu now!


I share this recipe in association with the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the blog hop this week was suggested by yours truly – #WinterDelights. Today, all of us are presenting winter-special foods on our blogs, and I felt it would be apt to share this recipe for one of my eternal winter favourites.

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable for those following a plant-based diet. It can also easily be made entirely gluten-free by avoiding the asafoetida used in the recipe.

Ingredients (serves 5-6):

  1. About 4 heaped cups of chopped veggies
  2. Salt to taste
  3. 1 tablespoon oil
  4. 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (til)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  6. 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. 3-4 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste
  9. 4-5 green chillies
  10. 8-10 cloves of garlic
  11. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  12. 1/2 cup peanuts
  13. 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
  14. About 1 cup finely chopped fresh coriander + some more for garnishing
  15. Juice of 1 lemon or to taste

For the muthiya:

  1. 1 big bunch of fenugreek greens (methi leaves), roughly 2 cups when chopped
  2. 2 cups gram flour (besan)
  3. Salt to taste
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. Red chilli powder to taste
  7. A fistful of fresh coriander
  8. 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  9. 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds (til)
  10. 1-2 tablespoons jaggery powder or as needed
  11. Oil, as needed for deep-frying

Method:


First up, prep the vegetables required for the Undhiyu.

1. Peel the carrot, potato, sweet potato, elephant foot yam and raw banana, then chop them into large pieces.
2. Remove the tops from the eggplants, and chop into large cubes. 3. Chop the cauliflower into large pieces.
4. Remove strings from the hyacinth beans and cut them off into halves.
5. Keep a generous quantity of shelled green peas, hyacinth beans and pigeon peas ready.

Next, we will prepare the masala for the Undhiyu.

1. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till crisp, taking care to ensure that they do not burn.
2. Let the peanuts cool down fully, then coarsely crush them in a mixer. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the fresh grated coconut and 1 cup of finely chopped coriander to the mixing bowl.
4. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop roughly. Remove the tops from the green chillies, and chop them roughly too. Grind the green chillies, ginger and garlic to a paste in a small mixer jar, using a little water. Add this paste to the mixing bowl too.
5. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl well together. The masala is ready.

Top Left: The veggies, prepped and ready to go into the Undhiyu; Top Right: The masala for the Undhiyu; Bottom Left: Sesame seeds and carom sputtering in the pressure cooker; Bottom Right: The veggies going into the pressure cooker


Now, we will start cooking the Undhiyu.

1. Take the oil in a large pressure cooker, and place on high flame. When the oil gets nice and hot, add in the sesame seeds, carom seeds and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
2. Add all the veggies to the pressure cooker.
3. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder and jaggery powder, along with about 1/2 cup water and the masala we prepared earlier. Mix gently, considering the cooker will be almost full to the brim.
5. Close the pressure cooker, and put the weight on. Cook for 2-3 whistles on high flame. Let the pressure release naturally.

Top Left: Salt, jaggery and turmeric added to the veggies; Top Right: The masala goes into the pressure cooker; Bottom Left: The dough for the Muthiya; Bottom Right: The Muthiya getting deep fried


In the meanwhile, we will prepare the Muthiya.

The Muthiya, deep-fried and ready to go into the Undhiyu


1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the gram flour.
2. Add the finely chopped fenugreek leaves, salt, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, finely chopped coriander, red chilli powder, carom seeds, sesame seeds and asafoetida. Mix well, using your hands.
3. Use a little water to bind the ingredients into a soft, pliable dough that is not too dry.
4. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy-bottomed pan. Let the oil get nice and hot.
5. When the oil is hot enough, form small oval shapes from the dough. Drop them into the hot oil, 2-3 at a time. Deep fry on medium flame till brown on the outside, taking care to ensure that the muthiya do not burn. Transfer to a plate when done.
6. Deep fry all the muthiya in the same way, without overcrowding the pan.

The Undhiyu, pressure cooked and ready


Lastly, we will prep the Undhiyu for serving.

1. When the pressure from the cooker has fully gone down, open it. Add in lemon juice and the muthiya we prepared.
2. Taste and adjust salt and jaggery powder if needed. If the spiciness is less, you may add in some red chilli powder.
3. Mix well, but gently. The Undhiyu is ready to serve, once the muthiya have soaked for 20-25 minutes. Serve garnished with finely chopped fresh coriander, with pooris, rotis or parathas.

Tips & Tricks


1. Groundnut oil works best in Undhiyu. However, any oil of your preference can be used.

2. Adjust the quantity of green chillies you use, as per personal taste preferences.

3. Typically, a large quantity of coriander and generous amounts of peanuts, garlic and coconut are used to make the masala for the Undhiyu. Don’t skimp on these ingredients – they add a whole lot of flavour to the Undhiyu.

4. The vegetables typically used in making Undhiyu are – Hyacinth beans (avarakkai or sem ki phalli), shelled hyacinth beans (avarakottai or sem ke beej), eggplants (kathrikkai or baingan), carrot, shelled green peas (patani or matar) , shelled pigeon peas (thuvarai kottai or hare toor), elephant foot yam (senaikizhangu or suran), raw banana (vazhakkai or kachha kela), cauliflower, potato (urulaikizhangu or aloo), sweet potato (sakkarai velli kizhangu or shakarkand). You can use these in any proportion you like – they should be about 4 heaped cups when chopped and ready. You can use any variety of eggplants. Personally, I like using a generous quantity of shelled pigeon peas, hyacinth beans and green peas in Undhiyu.

5. The traditional Gujarati Undhiyu uses a local variety of flat bean (called Papdi) and purple elephant foot yam (called Ratalu). However, these two vegetables aren’t very easy to find everywhere. Hence, I do away with the purple yam completely and use regular hyacinth beans (sem ki phalli) in place of the Papdi.

6. I use a large 8-litre pressure cooker to prepare the Undhiyu.

7. Adjust the quantity of jaggery powder you use, as per personal taste preferences.

8. Pressure cook the veggies for 2-3 whistles, depending upon how firm/soft you want them to be. I prefer 3 whistles. Ideally, they should be cooked through, but not overcooked. The veggies should retain their shape and not get too mushy.

9. Adjust the quantity of fenugreek leaves you use in the muthiya, as per personal taste preferences.

10. Some people add the muthiya to the undhiyu just before serving. I prefer adding the muthiya to hot undhiyu, letting them soak for 20-25 minutes before serving.

11. The dough for the muthiya should be firm, but neither too dry nor sticky. If it gets too dry, add a bit of water. If it gets too sticky, adjust it with a little gram flour.

12. To test whether the oil for deep frying is hot enough, drop a little piece of the muthiya dough into it. If itΒ  immediately starts to rise to the surface, the oil is just right – at this point, you should reduce the flame and start deep-frying the muthiya. If the dough doesn’t rise and settles down at the bottom of the pan, it indicates that the oil needs to get hotter.

13. You can layer the vegetables in the pressure cooker, too. Place some of the root vegetables at the bottom, spread a layer of the masala on top of them, then spread some more root vegetables over them. Again, another layer of masala, then one of the raw banana, cauliflower, eggplant and hyacinth bean pods. Another layer of masala on top, then the shelled hyacinth beans, green peas and pigeon peas. Finish with a layer of masala on top. You can add in the salt and turmeric powder on top – it gets evenly distributed when the veggies cook.

14. Some people add a mix of coriander (dhania) powder and cumin (jeera) powder to the Undhiyu. Some prefer adding a dash of garam masala. I usually do away with these ingredients.

15. Make sure you chop the veggies slightly large, so that they don’t get overcooked and too mushy.

16. Any leftover Undhiyu can be refrigerated and used the next day.

17. If you can get your hands on green onion and garlic, do use them in the Undhiyu. I’m not a big fan of green onion and, hence, haven’t used it. We don’t get green garlic here in Bangalore, so I haven’t used it either.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

14 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Undhiyu| Gujarati Mixed Vegetable Curry

  1. Undhiyu is really a celebration of winter. We have a similar mix veg preparation called bhogi chi bhaji whic we make a day ahead of Makar Sankranti. I do make undhiyu and follow pressure cooker method.

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  2. I must say, this is the first recipe I’ve come across where cauliflower is used in an undhiyu. Innovative and I guess one has to make best of the veggies available in the area. Undhiyu reminds me of the real pot one we use to have in our village in Gujarat. My granny would layer the vegetables, drizzle oil and then the top would be packed with the green chana stems and leaves after picking the green gram. It was then sealed and cooked slowing on a dry cow dung fire.

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    1. @Mayurisjikoni

      I do use carrot, cauliflower, potato and elephant foot yam in Undhiyu, in addition to the regular winter veggies like green peas, pigeon peas, hyacinth beans and fenugreek leaves.

      I’d love to have had a chance to try out your granny’s undhiyu. It sounds absolutely fabulous. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A perfect winter recipe. Mix of different winter vegetable, peanut, coconut sesame, carrom, jaggery and methi muthia must be superbly delicious. Loved the use of pressure cooker to make it in a healthy way with less oil. Never tried undhiyu. I will try it sometime for sure.

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  4. I never attempted Undhiyu because of the amount of vegetables it has and I would not be able to source some of the typical ones. I am so tempted to try this after seeing your pics. Wish I could be there.

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    1. @Renu

      There are some veggies that are crucial, in an Undhiyu. If you can get your hands on them, you can definitely go ahead and make it. I’ve mentioned them in my post.

      Yes, this pressure cooker method does cut down a lot on the time needed to make the Undhiyu.

      You’re most welcome to drop in home any time. I’d be happy to make this for you. πŸ™‚

      Like

  5. I have heard a lot about this dish but never tried it. Would love to try this super dish bursting with flavors and goodness of all veggies.

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  6. I too make undhiyu 2-3 times during winters and make both the low cal and pressure cooker versions πŸ™‚ this recipe is makign me want to go to the market and buy all the veggies to make it one last time b4 the Surti veggies disappear from the market !

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  7. what a brilliant combination of vegetables and other ingredients. I am sure it would be more delicious and bookmarking to try soon.

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