Mixed Veggie Casserole with Dumplings (Undhiyu)

Many of the ingredients and techniques in this recipe seem a little unusual. I mean, what the heck is a hyacinth bean? And what! You want me to use a pressure cooker? And, yes I’ll admit this does take a little time to make.

But I know if you make it, you won’t be sorry!

Undhiyu (Mixed Vegetable and Dumpling Casserole)

This mixed vegetable casserole, known as Undhiyu, is a much loved Gujarati dish that was traditionally baked in a clay pot buried upside down with a charcoal fire above. My mom just cooks it in a pressure cooker but  can also be baked in the oven.

My mom packed a giant tupperware container full of undhiyu for Steve and I when we drove across country from LA to DC. We ate it folded into slices of bread. Best road food ever!:)

Undhiyu (Mixed Vegetable and Dumpling Casserole)

Undhiyu (Mixed Vegetable and Dumpling Casserole)

Mixed Veggie Casserole with Dumplings (Undhiyu)

The Dumplings (Muthiya):

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semolina (rava)
  • 1/2 cup gram bean flour (besan)*
  • 3 tbsp fresh or dried fenugreek leaves (methi) {Substitute cilantro if you can’t find fenugreek leaves}
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 water or as needed – may need a little less or more

*Note: gram flour is brown garbanzo bean flour.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium size bowl, add oil to the semolina and rub in.  Toss in all the other dry ingredients and then add water a little at a time until a wet dough is formed.  (It needs to be wetter than the dough I make in the pictures)
  3. Make 1 tbsp sized ovals and place them on a greased baking sheet.  Brush the tops with oil and bake in the oven for 15- 20 minutes, turning once.  Until golden brown.

Undhiyu Masala

The Masala:

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp whole cumin seeds (jeeru)
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds (dhana)
  • 1 tbsp whole carom seeds (ajmo or ajwain)
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2  tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Roast the whole seeds on a pan until fragrant. Grind them into a powder in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
  2. Toss all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until chopped small and mixed well.

The Veggies:

Ingredients

  • 8 baby eggplant
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (the ones with a tan skin and white inside or red skin and white inside)
  • 1 lb hyacinth beans, seeds and skins (val papdi) — these can be hard to find.  Look for them in the frozen section at an Indian grocery store.  {If you don’t have an Indian grocer nearby, you can substitute 1/2 lb soy beans and 1/2 pound green beans cut into 1 inch pieces.}
  • Plantain (optional)
  • Potato (optional) — I don’t like to put any potato in mine.  It was always a disappointment to me and the rest of my family when we got a potato instead of a sweet potato.  So now my mom only uses the sweet potato.  Makes for more yumminess all around!

Instructions

  1. Cut the stem ends of the baby eggplant off and then cut two cross slits about 3/4 of the way down.  Set aside.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 2 inch thick slices.  Toss the pieces into a bowl of cold water while you work to prevent browning.
  3. Cut two cross slits about 3/4 way down into each segment of the sweet potato.
  4. Gently stuff as much of the masala mixture into  the eggplants and sweet potato as you can.  The Sweet potato is a little harder to stuff and it’s okay if they break into segments while you stuff.   Do the same with the potato, if using.
  5. Peel and slice the plantain into 1 inch segments, if using.
Undhiyu (Mixed Vegetable and Dumpling Casserole)

The Vaghaar (Tadka) and Assembly:

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp carom seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a pan that is big enough to hold all the veggies and will fit inside your pressure cooker.
  2. When the oil is hot, toss in the carom seeds.  Let cook for about 20 seconds and turn off the heat.
  3. Toss in a layer of veggies.  Sprinkle some masala over them add some the dumplings. Then sprinkle a tablespoon of water. Repeat the layers until all the veggies, masala and dumplings are added.  Stir.
  4. Place a ring at the bottom of the pressure cooker.  Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the bottom.  Place the pan into the pressure cooker on top of the ring.
  5. Close and cook for 20 – 25 minutes after the pressure is up.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.  Serve with any kind  of flat bread or puri.  I also like it as an open faced sandwich on thick buttered slices of fresh french or sourdough bread.

Undhiyu (Mixed Vegetable and Dumpling Casserole) with Paratha

 

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