A mixed vegetable casserole, Undhiyu is a delicious vegan and gluten-free Gujarati dish. It is a flavor-packed combination of baby eggplants, beans, and root vegetables cooked with warming spices, peanuts, and coconut. The best part of the casserole is the addition of veggie dumplings called "Muthia". In this easy recipe using Instant Pot Pressure Cooker, I am sharing all of my tips and shortcuts to make authentic tasting Undhiyu in no time!
What is Undhiyu
Traditionally made in a clay pot, Undhiyu is a special Gujarati dish made with a medley of tubers and veggies like purple yam, sweet and regular potatoes, green beans, eggplants, etc. The clay pot is filled with veggies and spices. Then, the pot is buried in a large underground furnace covered by a pile of dried leaves which are set alight.
Otherwise, considered as a laborious dish, my Undhiyu recipe is simple to cook for 2 reasons:
- The convenience of frozen, pre-chopped vegetables like purple yam, green beans (surti papdi) and shelled green beans(sutra papdi lilva) which are readily available in Indian grocery stores.
- Using an Instant Pot to layer the veggies and spices and cooking them to perfection without any babysitting.
In addition to the mixed vegetables, Undhiyu uses aromatic spices like turmeric, carom seeds, ginger, green chili, ground cumin, and coriander that add depth and flavor. I also love ground peanuts and grated coconut that add nutty flavors to this dish.
Although the hardy veggies can be marinated in the spices beforehand, I almost never do it with the Instant Pot. Simply layering them along with the veggies and cooking on low pressure makes this hearty pot of mixed vegetable casserole.
After, the veggies are cooked, stir in the pre-cooked steamed dumplings, Muthia. If, this dish has started to sound a bit complex. Another tip is to either cook and freeze the Muthia (my preferred method, because nothing beats home-cooked flavors) or buy the store-bought frozen Muthia, they are super delicious and come in handy.
I promise you will fall in love with the earthy flavors and aromas of this hallmark vegan Gujarati dish!
Often, I compare this dish to the Maharashtrian mixed vegetable dish, Bhogichi Bhaji. Similar to Undhiyu, is made during the winter months to celebrate the season's harvest bounty. In addition, both dishes are easy to make in the Instant Pot and very versatile.
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Instant Pot Undhiyu
- 8 baby eggplants
- 1 medium Idaho potato ,peeled and cubed
- 1 medium sweet potato optional
- 1 cup Indian flat beans /frozen surti papdi
- 1 cup diced violet Indian yam /frozen ratalu
- ½ cup shelled indian flat beans /frozen surti papdi lilva
Eggplant Stuffing Ingredients:
- ¼ cup oil
- pinch asafetida /hing
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds /ajwain
- 1 teaspoon hot green chilies ,minced
- 2 teaspoons ginger ,grated
- 2 teaspoons garlic ,grated
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric ground
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon ground peanuts
- 2 tablespoons shredded dry coconut lightly roasted
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup pre-cooked muthia
- ½ cup coriander leaves chopped for garnish
- Wash the baby eggplants and trim the stems to about ½ inch. Starting from the round globe end, cut the eggplants vertically, stopping before you cut into the stem. Make a second, perpendicular cut from the globe end toward the stem, again stopping before you cut into the stem.
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut, peanuts, coriander powder, red chili powder and salt. Stuff the eggplants by spooning about 1 to 2 teaspoons of the mixture into the slits. Reserve any remaining mixture (you may not use all of it). Reserve the eggplants.
- Set Instant Pot to saute mode and heat oil. Add hing and carom seeds, cook them for a minute or until aromatic.
- Add potatoes, beans, purple yam and shelled beans. Add green chili, ginger and garlic and mix well. Add turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, ground peanuts, coconut, salt and sugar. Add water and layer the stuffed eggplants on top. Springkle any remaining stuffing mixture on top. Do not mix.
- Close the Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing and cook on low pressure for 4 minutes. Press Cancel and quick release the pressure. Gently take the cooked eggplant out. Add Muthia and cilantro and mix gently. Top with reserved eggplant and enjoy hot!
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