Saturday, June 19, 2021

Phodshichi Bhaaji - A wild monsoon vegetable Curry (फोडशीची भाजी)

During Monsoons, you can spot some unique wild vegetables like Kantoli, Bharangi, Taakla, Ghol, Tandulja, Phodshi etc. in the market. Most leafy vegetable lovers march towards these veggies.  These wild veggies grow naturally in forests and are not specially cultivated. These wild veggies being organic are rich in nutrients, minerals and are pesticide free.  These wild vegetables are cooked in a specific way that are best known to tribal people and people from previous generationse. Some of these veggies also taste well with non-vegetarian food like prawns. So if you really want to enjoy a variety of nutritious and tasty vegetables, don't miss this opportunity  in this rainy season.

After the first rains, the first vegetable to arrive in the market is Phodshi. This is also known as Kuluchi Bhaaji or Safed Mulshi and has a brief season of around two weeks. This vegetable is a kind of grass with a white base with an earthy taste. Phodshi can be cooked in many ways like by adding soaked Moong Dal, soaked Chana Dal, or in the form dry sabzi by adding Besan (Chickpea flour). Here I am sharing a simple traditional way of cooking this vegetable. 


Servings: 2-3 people

Approx. Time:  Preparation time – 10 mins, Cooking time – 20 mins)


Ingredients:

Basic Ingredients:

1 bunch – Phodshi vegetable (One large Bowl)

1 cup finely chopped Onion

1 cup soaked Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram)

1 cup fresh scrapped Coconut

2 tbspn Vegetable Oil

1 tspn Jeera (Cumin Seeds)

2 tspn chopped Garlic pods (2/3 large garlic pods)

1 tbspn chopped Green Chillied (2 green chillies)

½ tspn Hing (Asafoetida)

½ tspn Turmeric powder

Salt to taste


For Garnishing:

Fresh scrapped Coconut

Method:

Pre-preparation:

·       Soak Chana dal for at least two hours in warm water before preparing the vegetable

·  Wash the Phodshi vegetable thoroughly under running water for couple of times. Discard the white base and finely chop the vegetable.

Method:

Heat Oil in a broad non-stick pan. Then, add Jeera and let it splutter. Add chopped Garlic cloves, chopped Green chillies, Hing and sauté it on medium flame for a minute. Add Hing and chopped onion and sauté till translucent. Add Turmeric powder and mix well.

Add soaked Chana dal and half cup of water. Cover the pan with lid and cook the Chana dal for around seven to eight minutes. Once cooked, add chopped Phodshi leaves and sprinkle some water.  Cover with a lid and cook it on low heat for nearly five minutes. Finally, add salt to taste and scrapped fresh Coconut.  Mix it and serve hot with Indian Bread, Roti or Bhakari.

Notes:

i.     Instead of cooking Chana Dal in the pan, you may pressure cook it beforehandto reduce the cooking time. Chana Dal used in this can be substituted with Moong Dal.

 

ii.   Generally no spices are added to wild leafy vegetables other than routine spices as it hampers the original taste. However, as per individual taste, you may add Goda Masala (Black Masala) or Garam Masala or Coriander-Cumin powder.

iii.   The vegetable tastes good even if you eliminate Garlic and Onions.

iv.   While cooking, the Phodshi vegetable releases water. In my case, since the vegetable  became dry, I added some water.

Stepwise Pictures:
























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