This is my mother in law’s signature dish and just like me, almost all my friends love this one. It is a mix vegetable curry with gram flour stuffing and gravy. My mom in law calls is Aakhu shaak (aakhu means whole and shaak is vegetable). This does not involve lot of chopping and cutting. Vegetables are slit, filled with the spice mixture and pressure cooked.
You can make the filling in quantity and keep it in fridge for a month. Once you have the filling ready, this is a very quick recipe to make. Though I have learnt from her to make this dish, I still prefer and make sure to get packs of stuffing made by her.
My mom in law uses Potatoes, Onions, Brinjals, and Green chillies (non-spicy ones) for this curry. Since I don’t like Brinjals, I leave out Brinjals and add Capsicum. As with all the moms, there are no exact measurements for this recipe. All the spices depend on taste. This curry tastes best with rice. You can have it with rotis or hot puris too. The recipe looks long but it is worth the effort.
- 2 potatoes
- 2 onions
- 1/2 capsicum (cut in big pieces)
- 2 big green chillies (non-spicy ones)
- 4-6 curry leaves
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- ¼ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- 1 ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp oil
- ½ cup gram flour (besan)
- ¼ cup coriander cumin powder
- 3-4 green chillies
- 7-8 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 2 table spoon oil (groundnut oil preferred)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Salt to taste
Roast the gram flour on very slow flame for 3-4 minutes. Keep mixing it continuously so that it does not burn. Add the coriander cumin powder, red chilli powder, and turmeric powder. Roast further for 1-2 minutes. Over roasting will burn the gram flour so be careful while roasting the masala. Once the masala is roasted remove it from pan immediately and let it cool.
Make a coarse paste of green chilli and garlic. Combine the roasted gram flour and coriander powder, and rest of the masala ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste for spices. You can adjust the chilli powder or sugar based on taste.
Peel potatoes and cut them into two pieces and make slits. Don’t cut the potato completely. Create a slit enough to fill some masala. You can check the image above for slits.
Peel onions and make 2 slits. Slit the big green chillies and remove the seeds.
Take little masala; around ¼ tsp and fill the masala into the slits.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add mustard, cumin seeds, curry leaves and let them pop. Add the vegetables and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add 3 tbsb masala and water. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 whistles.
Once cool. Open the cooker and put it on slow flame again. Add 3 tbsp of masala. Mix well and check for taste and consistency of gravy. (The gravy should be thick. You can add little water if it is too thick as gram flour tends to thicken the curry). Taste for spices and make adjustments for salt or spices. Cook for 3-4 mins mixing occasionally.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hot rice or roti.