Friday, July 19, 2013

Gajbaje - The Aashaad Ekadashi Special GSB Curry

My mother used to say that during the vanvaas, Pandavas were thriving on vegetables grown in the dense rain forests like Bamboo shoots, yam, taro leaves, amaranthus stem and leaves, Chinese cucumber, Jack fruit seeds etc to make curries. During the Aashaad Ekadashi the fasting day for Hindus, Bheema came out with this curry Gajbaje, a mixed vegetable curry. Perhaps that's why Aashaad Ekadashi Upvaas(fasting) is also known as 'Bheem Paas'.

Whether it is true or not, we GSBs always made use of available vegetables wherever we settled down! The monsoon vegetables are abundantly available in the market. Traditional way of making gajbaje has a coconut based bland masala ground on the grinding stone cooked with boiled mixed vegetables and a seasoning of mustard seeds and curry laves add to the flavour and taste. Slight tang is preferred which can be managed by adding Aambade(Amte Kaayi or Hog Plums). If you don;'t get hog plums, you may add a pinch of tamarind.

Many make gajbaje adding roasted urad daal and coriander seeds but I like it simple with a basic masala as shown in the recipe. Gajbaje can be eaten with Rulaanva Idli(Semolina Idli) or with Chapathis. Ekadashi being an auspicious day calls for no rice, no garlic and onion added in food. On a funny note, some call this curry complan because it has all the essential ingredients that are fortified with vitamins, minerals and fibers.
Grated Coconut - 3/4(or 3 cups)
Red chillies - 6-7 roasted
Salt - To taste
Keerlu(Bamboo shoots) pieces - 1 cup
There Paan(Taro Leaves) - 15-20 palm size
Bikkand(Jack Fruit seed) - 1 cup(peeled and cut into 2)
Magge(Chinese/Yellow Cucumber) pieces with skin - 1 cup
Bhaajji Dento(Amaranthus stem)(or Drum Sticks) - 1 shaved and cut into 2" pieces
Soornu(Yam) - peeled and cut into 1 cup cubes
Potato - 1 medium cubed
Aambado(Hog Plums) - 3-4 cut into big pieces/crushed, or a pinch of tamarind
Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Grind coconut and red chillies to a smooth masala paste.
Soak Bamboo shoot pieces in salt water for 2 consecutive days and discard the water. Boil with salt and water and drain.
Roll the taro leaves between your palms like  a cigar and tie a knot. This is called There paannaa gaanti.
Boil the gaantis with other vegetables adding little salt till well cooked.
Add the masala paste, boiled bamboo shoots and bring to a boil.
Allow to simmer for 5 mins.
Check for salt.
Heat oil in a small kadai, add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter, add curry leaves and fry them.
Pour this seasoning over the curry, mix and serve.

You may also add other vegetables like Bread Fruit, Kantola, Parval, Gherkin and Pumpkin but my preference is limited to above listed vegetables, as I am used to that way since my mother used to make Gajbaje.


Anonymous said...

Finally, got to see garbage ambit.

Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Do you mean Gajbaje Ambat?


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