Bhogichi Bhaji is a traditional Maharashtrian curry that celebrates the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables. The aromatic sauce is made with coconut, peanuts, sesame seeds and is spiced with red chili, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. This gluten-free and vegan curry is specially made during the Makar Sankranti Festival.
I love to celebrate the holidays! I love to think and reflect back on memories of my childhood when my mom's energy and enthusiasm filled our home with excitement and happiness! She would make some special dishes, desserts and we always had family and friends to share and enjoy. Now, I love to take time for my family for every festival and make sure we do something special. We talk about the festival and why it is celebrated. And of course, it always includes the traditional dishes and sweets we savor together as a family.
Makar Sankrant Festival
Today, we celebrate the first of the three-day celebration of Makar Sankrant. In India, Makar Sankrant symbolizes the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of the harvest season. Some states celebrate this festival for up to four days. In Maharashtra, where I come from, this festival is celebrated for three days. On the first day which is 'Bhogi', we make this special dish that celebrates the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables along with coconut, peanuts, and sesame seeds. It provides much-needed energy and nourishment to the body during winters.
This super healthy dish consisting of five different winter vegetables is a heritage recipe passed over generations and is an integral part of this festive celebration. Today I am sharing my grandma's recipe that uses carrots, fresh green chickpeas, flat green beans, baby eggplant, and tomatoes. You can always substitute with any seasonal winter vegetables. I like it with multi-grain or millet bread topped with sesame seeds.
Here are the vegetables I traditionally use. The sauce is so yummy that it also tastes great with other vegetables like potatoes, cauliflower, or string beans.
Prep the veggies
Prepare the flat green beans and peel the fresh chickpeas out of the pods a few days before. You can refrigerate them for upto a week or freeze them for several weeks.
- Fresh green chickpeas in the pods are seasonal and not readily available. I often use frozen green chickpeas that are already peeled. They are availble in Indian grocery stores in the freezer aisle. You can also use fresh or frozen green peas instead of green chickpeas.
- You can also substitue the flat Indian green beans with string beans that are avaialble in most grocery store.
This warming curry uses a simple spice paste as a base for the sauce. Roasted peanuts, sesame seeds, and unsweetened shredded coconut are ground together with fresh ginger and garlic to make a creamy smooth paste.
Step by Step recipe
- Start by lightly roasting peanuts for 2 to 3 minutes in a small pan. Take the peanuts out and repeat roasting coconut and sesame seeds on low heat. Allow to cool down.
- Add roasted peanuts, coconut, sesame seed, ginger, garlic and water to a blender jar
- Blend to make a smooth paste.
- Heat oil in a medium pan or wok. Add the sesame and peanut paste to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 miutes on medium heat
- Add red chili powder, ground coriander, ground cumin and turmeric
- Saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add all of the veggies and salt
- Add water and mix well.
- Cook covered on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the eggplant has cooked through. Add more water as needed.
- Open the lid and mix again. Add more salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro.
Traditionally Bhogi Chi Bhaji is served with pearl millet Bhakri. I also love to serve it with roti or parathas. For a gluten-free meal serve it with Khichdi or Jeera Rice.
On a low-carb diet? Enjoy Bhogi chi Bhaji with lemon cauliflower rice or cumin cauliflower rice.
This mixed vegetable curry can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. To reheat simply microwave or use the stove. As the curry cools down the sauce will thicken up. If you like add some warm water and salt when reheating.
Have an Instant Pot? Check out this Instant Pot Bhogi Bhaji Recipe.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are some more Vegan Indian Curries to try:
- Green Beans and Potato Curry
- Batata Bhaji
- Cabbage Stir Fry
- Aloo Gobi
- Green Beans Poriyal
- Asparagus Stir Fry
- Curried Tindora
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Bhogi chi Bhaji
- 1 tablespoon dry unsweetened coconut roasted
- 1 tablespoon peanuts roasted
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds roasted
- ½ tablespoon ginger grated
- 6 garlic cloves
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 6 baby eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tomato diced
- 1 cup flat green beans cut into 1 inch pieces **
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- ½ cup fresh green chickpeas removed from the pods **
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup cilantro
- In a small blender jar, add the ingredients for spice paste and make a fine paste
- Heat oil in a medium pan. Add the spice paste and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring frequently. Add turmeric, red chili powder, cumin and coriander powder and mix well.
- Add all cut vegetables and mix well. Add salt and 1 cup water. Once the water starts to bubble up, cover the pan and cook on medium low heat until all the vegetables are cooked tender. Usually takes around 10 minutes. Turn the heat off.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm Roti topped with sesame seeds. Tastes divine without any bread too!
- Fresh green chickpeas in the pods are seasonal and not readily available. I often use frozen green chickpeas that are already peeled from the pods come in handy for this recipe. You can also use fresh or frozen green peas instead of green chickpeas.
- You can also substitute the flat Indian green beans with string beans that are available in most grocery stores.
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Smiling Notes says
Omg this brought back memories of my childhood! ?
Thank you! It does bring back childhood memories! Hope you get it try it.
Sanyogeeta Sule says
Can you use bigger bharta eggplant?
Yes! Cut into 2 inch pieces.
what do you use to blend these spice pastes (do you have a mini grinder?) Thanks!
Pallavi Andrade says
Hi Archana, today being Bhogi, I tried this recipe and everyone in the house loved Bhogi Bhaji Thanks a ton for the recipe! Remembered my mom's bhogi Bhaji
Thank you! This makes me so happy!