Saturday, 31 March 2018

Ghol Takatali Bhaji (Purslane in a yoghurt sauce)


Ghol or Purslane Takatali Bhaji 

घोळात घोळ, घोळाचा!
मी (आस्ट्रेलिया हुन मैत्रिणीला फोन वर)  - तुला माहित आहे - आमच्या दारात घोळ आहे !
मैत्रीण - त्यात काय नवल ! तो तर तुमच्या कडे नेहेमीच असतो.
मी - अगं - तुझा समजण्यात घोळ होतोय - घोळाची भाजी उगवतीय आमच्या अंगणात.
टोमणा समजून देखील मी खुलासा करते.
आणि तुमच्या मनात अजून घोळ होण्याआधी तुम्हालाही सांगते  - मी म्हणते तो घोळ म्हणजे भाजीचा आणि मैत्रीण म्हणते तो म्हणीतला.
म्हणीतला म्हणजे आपला देशस्थी घोळ हो ! (मैत्रीण कोंकणस्थ आहे, मी देशस्थ)
पण आता त्यावरून  वाद-विवाद झाला तर खूपच घोळ होईल हो.
आता मात्र हा विनोद अति घोळवून निघाला, म्हणून आता फार घोळ घालता ताकातल्या घोळाची भाजीची बद्दल काही माहिती देते -

Ghol, or purslane (kulfa in Hindi) is a wonderful and tasty little plant packed full of goodness. It contains more omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant source. It also contains vitamins A, B, C and E as well as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. The pigments in the leaves and one in the yellow blossoms have been proven anti-mutagenic or anti-carcinogenic. As a mild diuretic, it is known to lower blood pressure as well. All this comes for about 15 calories per 100 grams!

Purslane is widespread globally and is a common summer-growing plant on most continents. The ancient Persians and Indians and even Indigenous Australians have used this wonder vegetable, in salads or cooked as stir frys or bhajis. 

In Australia, purslane is considered as a weed, and grows wildly, in gardens, wasteland or ungrazed areas, and even in the cracks of pavements.

However, I believe it deserves to be recognised as an ancient and highly nutritious super food source and grown specifically for food. I have tried to collect the seeds and grow the plants from seed, but haven’t succeeded in the past. This summer, I have dug up shoots and transplanted them in a pot, so we can have plenty of gholachi bhaji, koshimbir and varan!

Gholachi takatli Bhaji (Purslane/Kulfa in a buttermilk sauce)

2 cups slightly sour buttermilk (or you can use diluted yoghurt)
2 cups washed and chopped Ghol/ Purslane/ Kulfa leaves and stems
3 tbsp peanuts, boiled soft with a some salt and a little water (pressure cooking works the best)
1-2 finely chopped green chillies
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar

Make a paste of:
1 tbsp besan
1 tsp atta/rice flour
½ cup water

For the Tempering

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp urad dal
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
A pinch of turmeric
A pinch of hing
A generous pinch of powdered methi seeds
1 tbsp chopped garlic (or more)
1 or 2 dry red chillis (you can use dried masala chillies too)
A few curry leaf leaves

Mix the buttermilk or diluted yoghurt, chopped purslane, boiled peanuts, chopped chillies in a pot or pan and heat. As it starts simmering, add the besan and atta / rice flour paste and stir continuously.

This amount of cooking is enough for the purslane/kulfa. The mixture will start to thicken. Add the salt and sugar and adjust the taste and also the consistency. Add water if necessary and according to taste. Let it come to a rolling boil and then remove from heat.

In a small pan heat the oil and add the urad dal. Just as it starts to become pink, add the mustard seeds and then the cumin seeds. When the seeds start to splutter add the chopped garlic and curry leaves, then the hing, methi powder, pinch of turmeric. Take care not to burn the tadka.

Switch off the heat and pour the tadka on the takatli bhaji. It will sizzle, but settle down. Cover the takatli bhaji for a while to allow the flavours to infuse.

Serve hot with rice or jowar bhakari with some pickle.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

A Dirge for Dahyatli Bhendi (Sun dried Okra in a vegan yoghurt marinade)

A dirge for Dahyatli Bhendi

Slimy to crunchy and crusty
The okra’s ride is laborious
Baked in Sun and difficulty
To render meals sumptuous

Drying for lack, or adversity
Now labours futile, tedious
Who makes in days of plenty
Our lost heirlooms precious?!

And now it's Marathi translation! 

बुळबुळीत ते कुरकुरीत
प्रवास कठीण भेंडीचा
उन्हात टाकुनी वाळीत
मगच पदार्थ बेगमीचा

दुर्मिळ आता हे खाणे
जिभेचे जुने हे चोचले  
दुर्लभ त्याहून बनविणे
पदार्थ जणू हे हरवले!

And in case anyone wants the recipe of this vegan "dahyatli bhendi" AKA Sun dried Okra in a yoghurt marinade:


18-20 pieces Bhindi or Okra

1/2 cup Soy yoghurt
1/2 tsp methi powder
1/2 tsp hing powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste.


Wash and dry the okra and cut the heads and tails. Slice the okra into halves. Mix the remaining ingredients together and marinate the okra for a few hours.

Arrange the okra halves on a baking sheet/ parchment paper lined tray and dry it out in the sun for two or three days, until fully dry.

Store in an airtight container. Fry these in hot oil and serve with dal and rice.

These can be stored for a few months, provided they are dried thoroughly.