It has been a while since I wrote about some of the wonderful food I have been eating, and what better way than to rave about one from home – Matla Undhiyu. I tried this when I was visiting my family in Vadodara, Gujarat recently, and my cousin explained it to me as a Gujarati version of barbeque. Of course, coming from a real Gujarati family, this is a vegetarian dish, it was fabulous and such a spectacle to watch being cooked.
We headed about half an hour out of town one evening to my cousin’s farm house. Here they grow a range of vegetables, fruit and even cotton. A fire was started using wood and dry palm fronds
Once the flames had got started the vegetables were placed in earthen pots, covered with leaves and placed in the fire. They cooked there for about 45 minutes, whilst we just sat back and were mesmerised by the flame.
Once everything was well cooked, the pots were carefully removed from the fire and emptied out onto a mat.
Beans, peas, eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn… it was a veritable feast of beautiful smokey vegetables.
Once they had cooled a little, they were moved to the table. Each person took what they wanted, mashed them up and mixed the vegetables with mint chutney, tamarind and chilli. The taste was smokey, smooth and with just a little bit of a tang (depending upon how much of each chutney you put on). If you prefer it crunchy, you can also add some sev on top.
Whilst the photo just doesn’t do it justice, it made for a great outdoor meal on the farm.