Shital's-Kitchen: Undhiyu

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Many years back I used to tutor a student who belonged to Surat, a city in Gujarat (western part of India). The meaning of the word Undhiyu was told to me by his mom. Undhiyu comes from the word Undhu/उन्धू /ઊંધું which in Gujarati means upside down.

Traditionally Undhiyu is a mixed veggie delight, where fresh seasonal vegetables are spiced and cooked in a clay pot called Matlo that is sealed and turned upside down over hot glowing charcoal. It is a great winter camping dish since these vegetables are available fresh only during winter. Undhiyu is served along with puri (puffed Indian bread) Rotis (flat bread) or rice.

Preparing and cooking this dish takes a long time, but the leftovers can be enjoyed for 2-3 days.
It surely is a vegetarian's delight!

Updated: January 14, 2017...Today I invited my friends over for Undhiyu Party (Gujju Potluck) to enjoy Undhiyu, Shrikhand, Ponk wada, and plenty of delicious food. Since Undhiyu is traditionally made on a MakarSankranti Day, January 14th is also called National Undhiyu Day! Here is my post on Quick Undhiyu.

To begin with the veggies needed:
Tuvar lilva, Surti Papdi, Valore lilva, Raw Plantain, Potatoes, Purple Yam, Eggplant.
These veggies are available fresh during winter in India. We do get frozen veggies here. Thus we can enjoy Undhiyu anytime of the year! :) I also found fresh purple yam :) you could use frozen too.

Here is a clay pot with a lid that I will use for cooking this dish.

Wash the clay pot well from inside. Fill it completely with water. Clay absorbs water making food easy to cook.

To green veggies, add some salt and turmeric powder. Mix well and set the veggies aside.

Muthiyas are deep fried wheat flour dumpling. Crisp from outside and soft from inside.
1/2 cup wheat flour, 1 tbsp. gram flour, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, 1 tbsp oil, dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) and salt.

Mix ingredients well. Make stiff dough by adding little water at a time.

Divide the dough into small 10-15 portions and roll into long dumplings.
Deep fry in medium hot oil to make crisp muthiyas and set them aside. 
Do not hesitate to put one it your mouth and taste it! :)

Peal potatoes and yam. Cut into large pieces and deep fry slightly (deep frying is optional though). Do not over fry them.

When deep fried, sprinkle salt and set them aside.

To make seasoning and stuffing mixture.
Take 1 cup shredded coconut.
In a grinder, grind ginger, green chillies and caraway seeds (ajwain seeds)

Mix ground chilli and ginger to shredded coconut.

Mix well.

Remove 1 1/2 tbsp. of mixture in a separate container.

In rest of the coconut add turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, chopped cilantro and salt.

Mix the stuffing well.

Cut raw plantain and eggplant to stuff coconut stuffing.
Stuff the coconut mixture and set it aside.

Veggies, stuffing, seasoning, all set to be assembled and cooked.

Heat 5 tbsp. of oil in a pan. Add 1 tsp. dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)

Fry 2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

 Add 1 1/2 tbsp. coconut mixture that was kept aside.

 Fry for a minute.

 Add a pinch of turmeric.

 Start by adding fried potatoes and yam. Since they are largely cut they take longer time to cook so should be placed at the bottom.

 Next goes salted green veggies.

 Then put stuffed eggplants and plantain. Add a cup of water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

 Lightly toss the veggies. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
 Add deep fried muthiyas.
 Add remaining seasoned coconut mixture.

 Mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
 You could cook in a regular pan for 15 minutes and serve.

Complete rest of the cooking process in a clay pot.

Line some banana leaves inside wet claypot. I used colocacia leaves (patra leaves) to avoid veggies sticking at the bottom of the pot.

Fill the pot with partially cooked veggies.

Place the lid and seal with flour dough.

 Bake in preheated 325F oven for an hour.

When done, clay pot and dough dries. Before removing the dough and the lid, keep the pot upside down for 5 minutes. The oil that has settled at the bottom spreads back into the veggies.

Remove the lid carefully.

 Serve with roti/chapati.

Invite friends and Enjoy this traditional Gujarati Veggie Delight!!


  1. This is so similar to Avial (South Indian Dish) :)... except for the frying part...

  2. Hi.. where did you buy the clay pot from?

    1. I bought the clay pot from an Indian store. I have another big clay pot from Ikea too.

  3. Love it.. :) Traditional undhiyu..

  4. Can I use slow cooker instead of clay pot? I love all your recipe

    1. You do not need to use slow cooker. You can cover and let it cook well in the regular pan.