Undhiyu is a Gujarati mixed vegetable dish that is a regional specialty of Gujarat, India. The name of this dish comes from the Gujarati words "matlu" meaning earthen pot and "undhu" meaning upside down since they have been traditionally cooked upside down underground in earthen pots fired from above.
The dish is a seasonal one, comprising the vegetables that are available on the South Gujarat coastline during the winter season, including (amongst others) green beans or new peas (typically used along with the tender pod), unripe banana, small eggplants, muthia (dumplings/fritters made with fenugreek leaves and spiced chickpea flour, and either steamed or fried), potatoes, and purple yam, and sometimes plantain. These are spiced with a dry curry paste that typically includes cilantro leaves, ginger, garlic, green chili pepper, sugar and sometimes includes freshly grated coconut. The mixture is slow cooked for a long time, with some vegetable oil and a very small amount of water sufficient to steam the root vegetables.
The finished preparation is dry: individual chunks of vegetables are coated with a thin layer of spice and oil but retain their shape: the contents of the dish must therefore be stirred relatively infrequently during the cooking. Crisp vegetables such as bean pods must ideally retain a little of their crunchy texture. To ensure that no individual component is overcooked, the vegetables may need to be cooked in stage: the root vegetables and eggplant are half-cooked before adding the quick-cooking bean pods and ripe plantain. The finished dish is garnished with chopped cilantro leaf and lemon or lime juice before serving.
Surti undhiyu is a variant that is served with puri at weddings and banquets. Again it is a mixed vegetable casserole, made with red lentils and seasoned with spices, grated coconut, and palm sugar in a mild sauce. It is garnished with chopped peanuts and toasted grated coconut, and served with rice.
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