Bhaji refers to sautéed or grilled vegetables and spices that are traditionally pounded together. Traditionally a stone mortar and pestle was used but since not everyone has one they could use a blender or electric spice grinder. When using a blender make sure that the vegetable, when added to the ground spices, is ground to a coarse consistency. I will be using a blender. Though using the mortar & pestle is any day better since it retains the distinct flavor of the vegetables and spices but requires some hard work.
In these recipes “grind” implies an electric blender and “pound” implies a mortar and pestle.
- Summer Squash – 2 – diced
- Red chilies – 5
- Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
- Urad dal (Vigna mungo- white bean) – 1/2 tsp
- Tamarind pod – an amount equal to the size of a quarter of a lime- soaked in a little hot water. If you want to use tamarind paste, add 1/4 tsp.
- Salt -to taste
- Onion – 1 – chopped finely
- Oil – 2.5 T.
- Mustard seeds -1 tsp.
- Heat a tsp. of oil to medium in a small pan.
- Add red chilies, coriander seeds and Urad dal. Fry until it turns golden brown. Cool it to room temperature and grind.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons in a pan. Add the diced Squash and sauté until tender.
- Add the cooked vegetables to the ground mixture of spices along with the soaked tamarind, salt and onion and grind to a coarse paste. Transfer the Bhaji content to a serving bowl.
- Temper mustard seeds in a tsp of hot oil and mix with the Bhaji.
Serve with rice.