September 13, 2012
Doodhi Valachi Baaji is a delicious Maharashtrian vegetarian dish made with bottle gourd, field beans and jackfruit seeds cooked in spicy and tangy gravy. This curry is a semi solid gravy curry that goes well with roti, chapatti, bhakri or rice.
Medium sized pieces of doodhi or lauki is cooked with spices and then boiled with jackfruit seeds added to this curry giving a yummy and nutty flavour. Finally once the lauki pieces are cooked, boiled field beans are added to this curry enhancing the nutritional value of this dish. This curry has a blend of flavours from fresh ground coconut (helps in thickening the curry also), garam masala powder, green chillies, and ginger garlic paste. Doodhi Valachi baaji is a very comforting dish packed with lots of nutrients and vitamins.
Bottle gourd is a simple and popular vegetable that is extensively used all over India. It is yellowish green having the shape of a bottle and has white pulp with white seeds embedded in the spongy flesh. It is a very versatile vegetable that can be used in varied Indian savoury and sweet delicacies. Some of the popular recipes are Bottle gourd kofta curry (is a healthy version of kofta curry made with lauki that can be served as a snack or side dish for any rice varieties), Sorakaya Pulusu (is a delicious tamarind based gravy that tastes little sweet and tangy), Sorakaya Roti, Bottle gourd with Prawns (Kokan dhudhi delight), Anapaya Aava Koora, Bottle gourd doodhi halwa (cooked with sugar, ghee and spices flavoured with cardamom to create a tasty and exotic sweet delicacy), Bottle gourd payasam, Kaddu Kheer using Custard powder and many more.
As Bottle gourd has high water content, it gets cooked easily and is cooling, calming, diuretic and easy to digest. It is also effective against constipation and other digestive disorders. The bottle gourd is low in fat and cholesterol yet high in dietary fibres. This dish is amazingly a low calorie dish, light and delicious to eat.
Jackfruit seed is another excellent ingredient added in this dish. In southern India, jackfruit seeds the added in sambar dishes. Jackfruit seeds are a rich source of proteins and carbohydrates. Its seeds are like Chestnuts and are consumed by people. You can roast them or boil them and can sprinkle some salt on them for taste. The seeds of the jackfruit are slightly knobby and can be boiled, eaten, roasted or fried. Jackfruit is used in both savoury and sweet dishes. It can be dried or fried to produce something similar to potato chips, and when cooked unripen, it can substitute for plantain. Boiled jackfruit and milk also make a popular sweet custard dish that tastes like an orange. Wonderful recipes like chutneys, jams, jellies, fruit smoothies and ice creams can be prepared from Sweet jackfruit.
Field beans are the dried bean variety used in this recipe which is extensively used in western Maharashtra, especially Konkan region and they are popularly known as Vaal or surti beans. They are added to a variety of other vegetables and made with delicious curries or salads. The field beans is a traditional food plant in Africa, this little-known vegetable has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land care.
For preparing this delicious and appetizing curry, firstly soak field beans overnight in water and boil the next day and keep aside. Heat oil in a hot pan, add mustard seeds and they crackle add cumin seeds, chopped onions, curry leaves, chopped green chillies, chopped garlic and salt. Cook the onions till they turn slightly golden in colour. Add hing, turmeric, red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Mix the spices well.
Add bottle gourd, cut into small pieces, cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the bottle gourd are soft and tender. Add chopped tomatoes, seeds of ripe jackfruit cut into pieces, simmer and cook for a minute. Add little sugar, freshly ground coconut paste and the boiled field beans. Mix well, simmer for few seconds and switch off the flame. Sprinkle coriander leaves and serve hot. Serve with rice, roti or bhakri.
Do try this recipe and I am sure will enjoy its taste, flavour and nutritional benefits. Watch the making of this recipe by clicking on the below link: