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' made in the state of Maharashtra and North Karnataka. The seasonal vegetables are used along with roasted sesame seeds and roasted peanuts.

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 pumpkin subji for 2-3 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
  • Pumpkin pieces – 1/2 cup
  • Green fresh chikpeas (harbhara) - 1/2 cup
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp, more or less according to taste
  • Goda masala/ kala masala/ garam masala - 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp, more or less according to taste
  • Jaggery/sugar – 1/2 tsp, more or less according to taste
  • Roasted sesame seeds, powdered - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Roasted peanuts (optional) - crushed  - 1 tbsp
  • Freshly grated coconut (optional)

  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
  • Fresh Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp, chopped

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.
  2. Remove skin of pumpkin, potato and carrots with a peeler or a sharp knife.
  3. Cut pumpkin, potato, eggplants, carrots in about one inch pieces.
  4. Chop green chili and coriander leaves.
  5. Crush roasted peanuts(if using) roughly.
  6. Powder roasted sesame seeds in a blender/ mixer or a mortar pestle.

Making pumpkin subji

  1. Heat oil in a fry pan or a kadai. Reduce heat to medium.
  2. Add mustard seeds and when they start splattering, add cumin seeds, hing, turmeric powder, curry leaves.
  3. Next we will add vegetables according to the time they take to cook. The ones that take longer time, we will add them first.
  4. Add potato, carrot and chopped beans. Cover and cook for 2 -3 minutes.
  5. Add lablab beans (avarekalu), fresh chickpeas. Cover and cook again for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Reduce flame to low and add eggplant/brinjals and pumpkin pieces. Add salt, red chili powder, goda or garam masala, powdered jaggery, powdered sesame seeds and peanuts.
  7. Add fresh grated coconut (if adding). Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Check the 'doneness' of the pumpkin pieces by poking with a spoon. 
  9. If the pumpkin needs to be cooked further to your liking, add more water if needed and cover the lid again and cook for another minute till pumpkin is just done. By this time all other vegetables will also be done.
  10. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, add chopped coriander leaves.
  11. Mix well and switch off the flame.
  12. Bhogichi bhaji / winter vegetable stew subji is ready. Keep covered till serving time.
Tips and variations

If you leave the pumpkin skin on, the skin does not get cooked very soft along with the pumpkin flesh. I do not mind that. If you do not like pumpkin peel, remove it before cooking.

If you keep the pumpkin peel on, it helps in retaining the shape of the pumpkin when cooked.

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