Bhogichi Bhaji – A traditional Maharashtrian mixed vegetable curry with a spicy sesame sauce that celebrates the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables cooked in an earthy, aromatic sauce with coconut, peanuts and sesame seeds.
Significance of this yummy mixed vegetable curry AKA Bhogichi Bhaji:
In India, Makar Sankrant symbolizes the end of the winter solstice and the monsoon, and the beginning of the harvest season. 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 the much needed warmth and nourishment to the body during winters.
During my last Indian grocery store visit, a couple of weeks ago I found the traditional winter veggies for this recipe already available. So I decided to give them a try in the Instant Pot and bought the baby eggplants, fresh green chickpeas in pods, the Indian green beans (vaal). The only vegetable I was worried about over cooking was the baby eggplant. So I cut them a little bigger to adjust the cook time for the remaining ingredients and I was happy to see the veggies cooked so perfectly in the Instant Pot.
The traditional recipe uses 5 vegetables (eggplant, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and green chickpeas) pictured below, but feel free to substitute with any hardy vegetables of your choice. The sauce is very unique with distinct warm flavored spices and makes the curry delicious.
The Green beans and fresh green chickpeas in pods need a bit of work to clean up. The green beans should be split into 2 vertically, discard the top and bottom ends and then cut them into 2 inch pieces using your fingers or a knife. The green chickpeas should be removed from the pods and the skin of the pods must be discuarded.
Step by Step recipe for Instant Pot Mix vegetable curry with sesame sauce:
- Set Instant Pot to sauté mode. Once the hot sign displays add the spice paste to the oil and cook for a minute stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
- Add turmeric, red chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, tomatoes and sauté.
- Add remaining vegetables and salt. Add 1 cup water and mix well deglazing the pot making sure the curry paste is not stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook(Low) for 2 minutes followed by Quick release. Garnish with cilantro.
Check out more details on the three day festival of Sankrant celebrated in India and my original stove top recipe for this mixed vegetable curry.
Here is the quick video on how I made it. Very important to deglaze the pot a few times:
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Knows as Bhogichi Bhaji in Maharashtra this curry is made to celebrate the seasonal bounty of winter vegetables.
- 1 tablespoon roasted dry coconut
- 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon grated ginger
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin and coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon red chili powder
- 1/2 cup fresh green chickpeas removed from the pods
- 1 cup flat green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
- 6 baby eggplant cut into quarters
- 1 tomato diced
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced
- 1.5 teaspoon teaspoon salt to taste
- cilantro for garnish
- Make a fine paste of all the ingredients from Part 1 with 1/4 cup of water.
Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and heat oil. Add the spice paste and cook for a minute stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup of water and mix well.
Add turmeric, red chili powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, tomatoes and sauté.
Add remaining vegetables and salt. Add 1 cup water and mix well deglazing the pot making sure the curry paste is not stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook(Low) for 2 minutes followed by Quick release.
Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy with warm Roti topped with sesame seeds.
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Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live New Jersey with my husband and two sons.