The longing smell and the intoxicating flavors of Ubadiyu (Umbadiyu) will charm your wits out as you cruise towards the NH-48 roads towards Valsad (South Gujarat) during winter. Its very probable that you will soon be sitting with a plate full of this delicacy along with a huge glass of Chaas(Buttermilk). Although this delicacy is better enjoyed due to the earthen smell of the cooking pots, you can introduce the same at home too! Even though the dish looks pretty hard to recreate, all it takes is a little bit of love and a fair amount of special tips and tricks to master it.
Ubadiyu is both healthy and its delicious taste. Compared to Undhiyu, Ubadiyu is made up of pretty little spices. However, the difference lies in the cooking of papdi(beans) used and their cooking manner. This humble dish is made in an earthen pot, hence the beautiful and exotic smell.
An earthen pot is filled with seasonal vegetables- brinjal, wild beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes & purple yam. These are then marinated in a simple paste of green garlic & green chili. One can also add seasoning and spices for some extra zing. Although some stall owners prefer to stuff the potatoes with the paste for added flavor, others bake it simply. The vegetables are introduced to the pot in layers & sealed with leaves of an aromatic plant on top. To prevent the vegetables from getting burnt, the leaves of these plants are used to make a protective layer in and around the pot. They also serve as an added flavor.
The pot is then buried in a ground that is covered in hay, sugarcane, dung cakes. This is then lit on fire. With the soil burning up, the pot gets enough heat to cook its vegetables within.
After cooking, the ingredients of the pot are then turned into an aluminum foil, which keeps the contents hot. This is later sold then weight.
How to make Ubadiyu dish at Home?
First and foremost, you’ll need an earthen pot. To induce the exotic smell of burnt soil, you’ll need an earthen pot at home. This recipe goes by the order of 6-6-6. That is, it serves 6 people, it takes 60 minutes to cook and 60 minutes for preparation time. Other ingredients which you’ll need are:
- Potatoes 4-5 big
- Small eggplant 4 pieces
- Purple Yam (ratalu) 1/2 lb
- Sweet potatoes 2 pieces
- Surati papdi 1 bowl
- Tuvar lilva 1 bowl
- Green chili 7-8 pieces
- Ginger 2 inch piece
- Ajwain 1 tablespoon
- Salt 2 tablespoon
- Sugar 1 tablespoon
- Oil 2 tablespoon
- Gram flour Sev to sprinkle
- Few cabbage/lettuce leaves
- Kulhad and Kapoya leaves ( Optional )
- Crown flower and their leaves (Optional)
- Any flour (to seal the top)
- Garam Masala
- Groundnut Paste ( take 5-6 groundnuts and mash them )
- Coriander Powder
- Jeera (Cumin) Powder
- Coriander leaves
- One whole Garlic (Optional – for those people who love a garlic-y smell)
How to Cook the Ubadiyu
- Wash and peel the Surati Papdi (Wild beans). Do not cut them. In a bowl, add salt and ajwain powder and mix them with the beans properly. (Pro Tip: Mix them and keep it apart for 10 minutes such that the water sucks in the salt and the ajwain mix.)
- Chop Tuvar lilva (pigeon peas), green chili, and ginger. Do not make a paste, keep it aside as this will work as a filling.
- Now cut potatoes in four pieces, make two cross slit on the eggplant (brinjal), and cut Ratalu ( purple Yam) in big pieces. Do not cut the vegetables. Make a cross-section on the bottom part of the vegetables. This will where the filling will go in.
- Add salt, ajwain, and one teaspoon oil and mix together very well. In this, add cumin powder, jeera powder, the filling you prepared earlier, coriander leaves, garam masala, and groundnut paste. Keep it aside.
- Add the fillings in the vegetables. Remember the cross-section you did earlier? Fill it in the holes and the sides. For potatoes and other veggies, you can opt for marinating and layering them with the filling properly.
- Wash the earthen pot under tap water. Level the insides of the pot with cabbage leaves and all the other leaves that were suggested above.
- Add Surati papdi mixture as the first layer. Now add potato, eggplant, and purple yam mixture for the second layer. Add Surati papdi mixture final layer. (Pro tip: You can add the entire garlic here, this will give a garlic-y smell to the Ubadiyu).
- Now cover all of the mixtures with cabbage leaves/ lettuce leaves. Now put the clay lid on the pot. (Pro tip: If you do not have a clay lid, you can seal the top layer with a steel container of the same radius. The container should be placed in such a way that it exactly covers the pot.) Seal the lid and pot with flour paste.
- Put it on the flame on medium heat for nearly one hour. Once you see the flour paste almost baked, and steel hard, remove it from the flame. Don’t worry about burning. A little burn will give you that authentic smokey taste of the Ubadiyu.
- Top it with some Sev, sesame oil, and serve it hot with mint chutney. The traditional way of eating is to mash everything and eat, however you can opt-out of it too! It’s equally delicious anyway!