Bhogichi bhaji - Winter vegetable stew

Bhogi - the day before Makar Sankranti,
usually falls on 13 th January

Bhogichi bhaji or winter vegetable stew recipe is very easy to make. This vegetable stew is made on the 'bhogi' day.

'Bhaji' means, 'subji', a vegetable side dish. This subji is also known as 'lekurvali bhaji' in Marathi.

Makar Sankranti is usually celebrated on 14th January. 'Bhogi' is celebrated the day before Makar sankranti, that is on 13th January every year. Bhogichi bhaji is served with bajra bhakri and mung dal khichadi.

'Bhogichi bhaji' made in the state of Maharashtra and North Karnataka. The seasonal vegetables are used along with roasted sesame seeds and roasted peanuts. Though this is a 'Bhogi' special bhaji, you may make it any time during winter.

The vegetables generally used are eggplants(brinjal/vangi), green peas, pumpkin, potato, fresh chickpeas (are available only during this time), carrots, beans(which ever variety is available, lablab beans(avarekai/val) etc.

You may use red pumpkin or yellow/white pumpkin for this subji. Both types of pumpkin taste good in this dish. You may also use eggplants of your choice. The purple / green or round / long.

Depending on the total quantity required, you may take one or two of each vegetable.

You may also use the leafy vegetables methi (fenugreek) and palak (spinach). This dish looks so colorful with so many vegetables of different colors.

Onion or garlic are generally not used as it is a festival recipe. But you may add them if you wish. I am not using onion or garlic in the recipe below.

How to make Bhogichi bhaji - Winter vegetable stew

Main ingredients for Bhogichi bhaji - Winter vegetable stew

Pumpkin - Bhopla - Kaddu

Ingredients for bhogichi bhaji / winter vegetable stew for 3-4 servings

  • Potato, cubes - 1/2 cup
  • Eggplant (brinjal, vangi, badnekai) - 1/2 cup pieces
  • Lablab beans - avarekalu - 1/2 cup
  • Carrot, diced - 1/2 cup
  • Green fresh chikpeas (harbhara) - 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp, more or less according to taste
  • Jaggery/sugar – 1/2 tsp, more or less according to taste
  • Fresh Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped

Spices to add

  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp, more or less according to taste
  • Goda masala / kala masala / garam masala - 1 to 1 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh ginger, chopped fine or paste - 1 tsp

For grinding

  • Sesame seeds - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Roasted peanuts - crushed  - 1 tbsp
  • Dry coconut / Kopra, grated - 2 tbsp

  Ingredients for tempering/ tadka

  • Vegetable oil – 1  tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
  • Cumin seeds – ¼  tsp
  • Asafetida / hing – a pinch
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 8-10
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp

Step by step instructions for making Bhogichi bhaji - Winter vegetable stew

Preparation for making Bhogichi bhaji - Winter vegetable stew

1. Wash all vegetables under running water. Remove skin of potato and carrots with a peeler or a sharp knife.  Cut potato, eggplants, carrots in small pieces.

Put potato and eggplant pieces in water till ready to use. Otherwise they change color.

2. Roast peanuts, dry coconut, sesame seeds separately.

Powder roasted sesame seeds, kopra, peanuts in a blender/ mixer or a mortar pestle. Keep aside.

Making bhogichi bhaji - winter vegetable stew

1. Heat oil in a fry pan or a kadai or pressure cooker/pan. I am using a small pressure pan. Reduce heat to medium.

Add mustard seeds and when they start spluttering, add cumin seeds, hing / asafotida.

2. When spluttering stops, add urad dal and fry till urad dal  changes color to light brown.

3. Next we will add vegetables according to the time they take to cook. The ones that take longer time to cook, we will add them first.

Add carrot and chopped beans, lablab beans (avarekalu), fresh chickpeas.

If cooking in an open pot/kadai, mix well. Cover and cook vegetables for 3 minutes. As I am going to pressure cook, I am adding all vegetables together.

4. Next, add Potato and eggplants. add goda masala, garam masala, salt, red chili powder, jaggery.

5. Add roasted nut powders and water to almost cover the vegetables. Stir well to mix.

If using pressure cooker, close the lid and put weight on and cook for one whistle. Switch off and Let cool naturally.

If cooking in open pot, check in between and add more water if needed and cover the lid again and cook till vegetables are done to your liking.

6. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and switch off the flame.

You can see how bhogichi bhaji looks after I opened the cooker.

Bhogichi bhaji / winter vegetable stew subji is ready. Keep covered till serving time.

Tips and variations

The variety and quantity of vegetables depends on your liking.
Add more spice powders if you like.

Serve with jowar or bajra bhakri, chapati, plain rice, mung dal khichadi etc.

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