Winters have been around for a few months and it has been really cold in some parts of US, frequent storms and loads of snow. On the positive side, winter is the season in which we get the most wonderful vegetables like Purple Yam, Sweet Potatoes, Green beans like lilva Tuvar and Val Papdi and Surti Papdi. These winter vegetables generally form a large part of the delicacy Surti Undhiyu. However, that is a time-consuming preparation, so I used certain vegetables from that to prepare this dish.
Using fresh Tuvar Lilva as the hero in this dish, I added potatoes and purple yam along with sweet potato and eggplant. The curry is predominantly made of cilantro, green and white garlic and spices. The vegetable can be prepared quickly and tastes great with hot Fulkas, Puri or even steamed rice. With Holi just around the corner, this is my way of bidding good-bye to the cold season.
Tuvar Lilva shelled, 2 cups
Potato ½ cup diced
Sweet Potato ½ cup, diced
Purple Yam ½ cup, diced
Eggplant ½ cup, diced
Cilantro 2 cups
Garlic 3-4 pods shelled
Garlic shoots ¼ cup
Ginger 1 inch piece
Green chili 4-5
Sesame seeds, Carrom seeds, Cumin seeds, Asafoetida
Salt, Sugar, Lime Juice
To make the curry, wash and blend cilantro, garlic, garlic shoots, ginger and green chili to a paste. In a wide bottom pan heat oil and add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Once the cumin pops, add sesame seeds and carrom seeds. In acouple of seconds they will start popping so add the prepared green paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
After the paste has sauteed for a few minutes, add the tuvar lilva seeds and mix well. Next, spread the potato dice and purple yam dice in a layer. Add the sweet potato layer on top and finally place the eggplant pieces on the sweet potato layer and let the vegetable cook on medium to low flame for 3-4 minutes.
In about 3-4 tablespoons of water, add salt, sugar and lime juice. Mix well and pour the water on the vegetable. This is a quick way to ensure the seasoning reaches every part of the sabji. Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes on medium flame adding little water if needed in the middle.
Uncover the vegetable, mix slowly making sure the pieces do not crumble. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Roti, Puri or steamed rice.
If you would like to try Gujarat's traditional winter vegetable; give a shot to this Surti Undhiyu. Elaborate preparation required, but the result is absolutely fabulous.