West Indian Cuisine
A slow cooked mixed vegetable speciality, Undhiyu comes from rural coastal regions in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
The name of the dish comes from the Gujarati word undhu which means ‘upside down’ referring to its peculiar method of preparation.
Fresh produce is mixed with herbs and spices and filled in earthen pots which are then buried underground. A flame is then lit on top of the pot so the dish cooks under a fire instead of atop.
The dish contains an assortment of regional seasonal vegetables found all along the South Gujarat coastline including potatoes, green beans or new peas, unripe banana and eggplants as well as fritters of chickpea flour and fenugreek. These vegetables ares cooked in a spiced paste with ginger, garlic, green chilies and coconut.
A favourite of the costal farmers, Undhiyu is a complex affair. The preparation of the ingredients takes mosts of the day and it’s cooking takes an additional four hours or so. This explains why the dish is usually only cooked in large quantities.
The Undhiyu is a robust, unctuous dish. It is best enjoyed with the Thepla a thick flatbread, made from chickpea flour.