There is a saying that for every twenty miles the food habits change and how true I found it to be during my stay at various places in South Canara(Udupi-Mangalore belt).Though the names of the dish would be same…. the procedure,combo or significance would be different.Today am sharing one such recipe called Gajbaje which is prepared on the auspicious ocassion of ” Krishnashtami ” at my Inlaws place as well as my maternal side but the same dish is prepared on ” Ashada Ekadashi ” in and around some places in Mangalore.My very senior friend Jayashri shenoy mai has already shared the Mangalore version here, which has taro leaves, chickpeas etc.My version is made only with the vegetables ,some available only during the monsoon season.This dish is also prepared on Ganesh Chaturthi or Gowri pooja by many people.
- Potato -1
- Sweet potato -1
- Coloured cucumber (magge) – afew pieces
- Elephant yam(surnu) – a few pieces
- Pumpkin(dudhe) a few pieces
- Ivy gourd(tendle)4-5
- Pointed gourd(goint) 1-2
- Teasel gourd(phagil) 1-2
- Tender ridge gourd(ghosale) 1
- Raw banana 1
- Tender lady’s finger 3-4
- cowpea beans (alsande) 4-5
- Beans 4-5
- Bread fruit(jeev kadgi)
These are the traditional vegetables used in this dish ,some of them like pointed gourds,teasel gourds,bread fruit are seasonal and are available only during monsoon.Apart from these you can use the so called modern vegetables like cauliflower,capsicums,carrots also.
The stem of amaranth leaves called ” bajje dento ” is also used in native and is available with all the vegetable vendors.You can also add jackfruit seeds if you have in stock.Now a days sweet corn cobs are also added to the dish.
To be ground into paste(masolu):
- Coconut gratings
- Roasted red chillies
- For Seasoning:
- Coconut oil as required
- Mustard seeds
- Sprig of curry leaves
Chop the vegetables into large dices , cubes or into chunks depending upon the vegatables like shown below.
- Pressure cook all the vegetables except ladies finger with a wee bit of salt for 1 or 2 whistles.They should be well cooked but not mushy.
- Roast the ladies finger in few drops of oil till done and keep aside.
- Grind the ingredients listed under ‘paste ‘ to a smooth paste adding water.
- Pour the ground paste in a big pan or pressure cooker pan,add salt and required amount of water and mix gently so that the paste and the vegetables blend well.
Gajbaje is ready to be served along with phalhar i.e non rice items like rava idli too as we fast on Krishnashtami and for dinner after the pooja.It is a delicious curry due to the various vegetables used and our favourite.
- Though this is a festive and traditional dish ,it can be made and enjoyed on other days too with the vegetables available on hand.
- As we use too many vegetables use them in small amounts as all the vegetables together yield a large amount as shown in the above pic.
- If using Hog plums (ambados) avoid tamarind while grinding and add the crushed ambados while boiling.
- Use a wide and deep pan as it would be difficult to mix with such large amount of vegetables.
- Adjust the chillies and coconut depending upon the quantity of vegetables used.
- This dish is not spicy .