Flavourful and healthy, this quick-cooking bhaji will power you through the day
When it comes to cooking with fresh herbs, there is one universal problem. Using them all up before they go bad. Sure you could blend up a series of pastes and sauces, but before you know it you have a jar of three-month-old pesto to deal with instead. So if you see your herbs getting a little droopy and sad, it’s time to take action and luckily, if you’re dealing with dill we have a solid solution at hand.
Shepuchi Bhaji (or Shepu ki Bhaji) hails from Maharashtra where it’s a lunchtime staple among the farming communities for its nutritious and delicious recipe. A member of the celery family, dill has a strong flavour and aroma which makes it popular in salads as well. Shepuchi bhaji however is usually served as the star of the lunchtime meal along with a local bread called bhakri which is made from rice flour or sometimes millet. It can also be used as an accompaniment for a big comforting bowl or masala bhat or varan bhat.
Dill has a cornucopia of nutrients including Vitamins A, C, D, riboflavin, manganese, folate, iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc and dietary fibres. It’s also known to be a great antioxidant as well as a digestive and is soothing to the intestines. Add it to your diet for an immunity boost, and for healthy skin and bones.
● 1 big bunch dill
● 1 tbsp yellow moong daal
● 2 tbsp vegetable oil
● 1 medium onion
● 1 medium tomato
● 10 cloves of garlic
● 2 - 4 fresh green chillies
1. Start by sorting your dill leaves. Make sure to separate out the softer leaves and smaller stalks from the gritty harder stems.
2. Coarsely chop the dill and put it in a bowl of water. Shake loose and grit or mud, pour out the water and repeat until the water runs clear (usually 2-3 times).
3. Soak the daal in warm water for 10 minutes to help it cook faster.
4. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and tomato.
5. Pound the garlic and green chillies with some salt in a pestle and mortar. The amount of garlic and chillies can be adjusted as per your preference.
6. Heat some oil in a thick-bottomed pan or kadhai and add the onions.
7. Saute until translucent and slightly golden before adding the garlic and chillies.
8. When the mixture is fragrant, add the tomatoes.
9. Drain and add the moong daal.
10. Finally add the dill, stir well and then cover with a lid to cook through.
11. Lower the heat, and simmer until the daal and dill have cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated.
12. Serve hot with roti or bhakri.