BM # 27 Day 4
Occasion : Uttarayan Festival in Gujarat
Uttarayan , also known as Makar Sankranti is a famous festival of Gujarat. It falls on 14th January .This is a festival where the skies are full of kites .Preparations are made weeks before the festival. One finds seasonal shops full of these kites and the accessories..oh yes there are loads of them .Different types of caps, shades, whistles, bugles, finger caps..and what not they are all sold at these shops .The thread to fly kites or the Dori is specially made with crushed glass pieces, this is to make it sharp .All normal activity is shut down and one finds the terraces full of family and friends. come join in the celebrations of this festival on the third day of this BM.
Now when you have friends and family together, naturally food has to come along. We have special food for this day. Undhiyu, poori and Jalebi. This is a must in Gujarat. Most of the ladies who are good with their recipes , sell this dish by kilos…they might not have business , but they cook and sell for a day…these ladies are famous for their Undhiyo. There is no advertisement for these, but just mouth to mouth publicity. Most of the farsaan shops too sell this, and one has to stand in queue to get it.
Undhiyo is one of the best Gujarati dish, it is always made in winters when one gets special vegetables for this dish. Here is the recipe…
200 gms surati papdi (these are a variety of beans)
200 gms kandh (ratalu).purple yam
4 baby potatoes
1 medium sized sweet potatoes
½ cup shelled toor seeds (fresh pigeon pea )
1 medium sized raw banana
Preparing the veggies
String the papdi, and split in two.
Peel kand, cut into medium sized pieces.
Wash and slit the potatoes, keeping them intact.
Cut the sweet potato and raw banana without peeling.
½ tsp asafoetida
2 tsp coriander-cumin seed pwd
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp sesame seeds
¼ cup jaggery
8 green chillies
2 cups coriander leaves
1 ½ cups coconut, grated
4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients and make a coarse paste.
Stuff this in the potatoes and rub it in the rest of veggies.
½ cup oil
¼ tsp asafoetida
¼ tsp mustard seeds
3 cups water
1 cup coarse wheat flour
½ cup chopped fenugreek leaves
¼ tsp turmeric pwd
¼ tsp chilly pwd
¼ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients.
Adding little water, prepare a dough.
Make small lemon sized balls little oblong with your fists.
Deep fry, till golden.
Preparing the Undhiyu
Heat ½ cup oil.
Add mustard seeds and asafoetida.
Arrange vegetables, in layers.
First papdi with toor seeds.
Then potatoes, kandh.
Next sweet potato and raw banana.
Cook on slow fire, adding water when ever needed. Once the veggies are done place the muthias and sprinkle some water.
Cook covered for another 5-7 minutes.
The muthias should be soft.
The undhiyo should not be very dry, if you feel so, add water, but gradually.
Serve hot with pooris and Jalebis.
I cooked this Undhiyu in a clay pot, to get the authentic flavor.
surati papdi with fresh pigeon peas
This is normally served for lunch, while through out the day, chikki, leelva ne kachori , khaman and lot of other snacks are served. Dinner normally is a take away like a pav bhaji or something..you see the ladies too are involved with kite flying.
This is one of the kite shops, these shops come up during the season only
A closer view of the shop
accessories being sold
Tukals in the sky
The most interesting is Night Kite Flying .Special, big size kites are made to order. Paper lanterns, candles are all set for that. Normally when a family decides to fly these kites., which are famous as tukal..they invite their friends too. The big kite is flown by one person, at the same time four other kites are flown , these are to guard the big kite. When the tukal is high up, lanterns are tied to the dori, and very carefully the dori is left loose, similarly people tie many lanterns. We have a friend, who tied 52 lanterns two years back!!
lanterns being prepared
that is the kite to which lanterns will be tied
52 lanterns!..yes 52..have been tied!!
By the end of the day, everyone gets tiered and usually tea/ coffee and ice creams are served for the night party, but the taste of Undiyu and Jalebi still lingers!!