Ukad Handi

IMG_1440abc

Ukad Handi is a mix vegetable dish relished in this particular cold season when vegetables look, smell and taste their best. This is a traditional cuisine that is so much fun cooking outdoors, a perfect combo of picnic and feast.

IMG_1327bIMG_1320b

The Sabzi Mandi  in this weather is overflowing with an array of vegetables. Not only are they comparatively cheapest in this season but also a pleasant sight to watch as they are glowing freshness and the diversity in colors soothe your eyes.

IMG_1336bIMG_1348b

That is how our ancestors must have invented Ukad Handi, to make most of the vegetables of this season that were available in plenty. Though Ukad Handi is a traditional recipe of Vasai-Virar-Dahanu region, with a little variation in cooking methods and  different names this dish is savored all over Maharashtra and in nearby states. For example, the famous Gujarati dish ‘Matla Undhiyu’ has almost same ingredients and cooked in a similar way.

IMG_1363bIMG_1366b

A mix of vegetables are cut into medium pieces and cooked together in an earthen pot on a fireplace. Season’s best vegetables  goes into an  Ukad Handi and the range is varied – Eggplant, Potatoes, Sweet Potato, Drumsticks, Vaal Beans, Yam, Raw Banana, carrot, radish, peas, peanuts etc. To add taste – other than vegetables, goes in  chili powder, ground Garam Masala, salt, jaggery, grated coconut and powdered roasted peanuts. A generous amount of oil is added to the mixture. Water is added in a very small quantity to moist vegetables a little. To add a special flavor the pot is covered with banana leaves or ‘bhendiche paan’. Bhendi, is a big tree that is commonly found in this area. Though locally it is called as a bhendi tree it should not be confused with the plant of Lady’s Finger or Okra which is  tiny one compared to this tree. These leaves add a very earthy and smoky flavor to the dish.

IMG_1399aIMG_1402b

If you have a garden or a backyard, you can build a fireplace. Though fireplaces are the last things you can have in a residential accommodation in cities. That is why Ukad Handi is an opportunity to plan a weekend outing with family to a nearby farmhouse or a house with traditional chulha. In cold winter nights, the dish becomes a memory for the rest of the year as everybody join hands in the preparation before cooking, enjoy the warmth of fireplace and chit-chat along.

IMG_1432bIMG_1446b

2 Comments on “Ukad Handi

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: