Bhogichi Bhaji Traditional Maharashtrian Mixed Vegetable
Bhogi chi Bhaji is a traditional Maharashtrian curry that celebrates the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables along with a healthy and aromatic sauce made from coconut, peanuts, and sesame seeds.
I love to celebrate the 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. 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.
Makar Sankrant Festival
Today, we celebrate the first of the three-day celebration of Makar Sankrant. In India, Makar Sankrant symbolizes the end of the winter solstice 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 much-needed energy and nourishment to the body during winters.
Bhogichi Bhaji (Traditional maharashtrian mix vegetable curry)
- 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 diced
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin and coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder
- salt to taste
- cilantro for garnish
- 1 tablespoon dry unsweetened coconut roasted
- 1 tablespoon peanuts roasted
- 1 tablespoon brown sesame seeds roasted
- 1/2 tablespoon ginger grated
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup water
Make fine paste of all the ingredients from Part 2 with water.
Heat oil in a medium pan. Add the spice paste and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add turmeric, red chili powder, cumin and coriander powder and mix well.
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.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm Roti topped with sesame seeds. Tastes divine without any bread too!