The subsequent lockdowns and temperory closing of malls and restaurants gave birth and rise to a bevy of home chefs catering to all types of food.
It was only a couple of years back that I got to know about Undhiyu, a Gujarati winter mixed veg curry. As per habit, I scooped more information about it and realised that not only making a true blue Undhiyu is a tedious job but a couple of vegetables used therein were quite alien to me.
Since then, I have been trying to avail some authentic Undhiyu, so as to taste something new, as well as, add another traditional and popular regional dish to my food experience.
Around Feb end this year, when winter was almost over, I was able to connect to Food-Boxx, a relatively new vegetarian food service jointly run by two Gujarati ladies, Kalpa Doshi & Dimple Doshi.
I liked the surface info of their Undhiyu recipe and ordered the same. But they were sweet enough to sent me a sumptuous 3 course Gujarati winter meal for tasting & review!
Their winter meal comprised of –
– Starters –
– Khandvi: The gluten-free chickpea flour aka besan based soft rolls came generously garnished with coriander leaves and grated coconut.
They were uniform, melt in the mouth and well tempered. A healthy and tasty snack.
– Patra: The Patrode or colocasia aka arbi leaves and besan paste based pinwheels had thick texture and were well steamed. They looked beautiful engulfed in the tempering of black mustard and white sesame seeds.
They tasted quite good and filling. The mild sweetness of jaggery was just perfect.
– Matar Kachori: The Gujarati version of Matar Kachodi was slightly different from the ones that we usually get in sweets & snacks shops. Herein, the spiced peas filling was well infused with raisins and desiccated coconut.
Coriander Chutney and Dates Tamarind Chutney came parcelled as it’s condiments.
Both the dish and it’s condiments tasted good.
– Main Course –
– Methi Thepla: Infused with fenugreek leaves, Theplas are slightly bitter but well spiced soft flatbreads that are popular as – snack, main course and even tiffin food. They taste as good with pickle, curd or chutney as they taste with any sabji.
The Theplas tasted expectantly good. But the accompanying Chilli and Mango Pickles were a revelation. Their masala recipes were slightly different from the traditional ones and they were chopped finely and not kept as big chunks. I liked them so much that, softly afterwards I bought 4 types of pickles from Food-Boxx!
– Undhiyu: The Undhiyu was a mish mash of assorted fresh vegetables (plantain, snow peas, baby potatoes etc.), few stuffed vegetables (baby brinjal, pointed gourd etc.) and some methi leaf dumplings. It was garnished with coriander leaves.
It was wonderfully spiced and tasted fantastic. Actually, it was quite different from any mixed veg preparation that I had tasted till date.
Also, it paired well with Methi Thepla.
– Desserts –
Shrikhand – This thick and creamy curd based dessert is relatively easy to make and healthy. Made of just curd, sugar, cardamom & nuts, it’s widely consumed in both Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Food-Boxx sent me three yummy variations of this popular dessert –
– Classic Kesaria: It was infused with a little saffron and garnished with enough chopped almonds and pistachios. It was aromatic and nice.
– Seasonal Strawberry: The infusion of fresh strawberry pulp and garnishing of few strawberry chunks gave it a slightly tangy but enhanced taste. It did not have any nut. It tasted nice and different.
– Pineapple: It was infused with tinned pineapple’s pulp and garnished with few of it’s chunks. It had the typical pineapple flavor. Somehow I did not find the fusion appealing.
All in all, it was an aromatic, filling and a tad bit sweet Gujarati meal that can only be made by people with experienced cooking hands and loving souls.
It tasted fabulous.