Gajbaje ambat is a spicy coconut curry with a array of veggies in it. Gajbaje ambat is a customary curry at all festival feasts. Konkani speciality kheeri is always served with gajbaje ambat and thoushe sasam.
Any vegetable of your choice can be used to prepare gajbaje ambat. Vegetables usually used to prepare gajbaje ambat are potatoes (batato), yam (surnu/suran), peas (batani), breadfruit (jeev kadgi), ivy gourd (thendle), beans, lady's finger/okra (bhendi), mangalore cucumber (magge), yard long beans (alsando), kantola/teasel gourd (phagil), ridge gourd (gosale), beetroot, pumpkin(dudhe), raw banana (randayi kyale), sweet potato (kanag), raw banana (kele). All these vegetables are put together in a spicy, thick coconut curry and it is then seasoned for loads of flavour. Primarily the vegetables which grow in august and early september are used in abundance in this curry. If you happen to make gajbaje ambat any other time of the year, use veggies available in that season. You may or may not use all of the above mentioned vegetables. Usually, small portions of most of the veggies mentioned above are used for a good mixture of veggies in the curry.
You can eat gajbaje ambat with a bowl of hot steaming rice or kheeri. Gajbaje ambat is a must for Ganesh chaturthi, vayna pooja (a festival for married women), nave (a festival celebrating the first harvest of rice) and for Krishna Janamasthami. During all these festival feasts kheeri is a must, so is gajbaje ambat which is served along with it.
1. Wash all vegetables. Peel the vegetables that need peeling. You can keep the skin on, on potatoes, Mangalore cucumber if you wish to, in case you’re using them. The potatoes and Mangalore cucumber aren't peeled to prevent them from dissolving and disintegrating in the curry.
2. Transfer all chopped vegetables into a pressure cooker. Add about 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Cook the vegetables for just a whistle or else they overcook and dissolve.
Preparing the masala:
3. Fry dried red chillies with few drops of oil for few minutes and then let them cool.
4. Once they cool, grind them along with grated coconut and tamarind into a smooth paste using as much water as required.
5. Add this ground masala to a cooking vessel and bring to boil. Meanwhile add the cooked veggies and mix well. Check and adjust salt and water. The consistency of this curry is medium thick. Be careful not to add too much water.
6. Once the curry comes to a boil, simmer and continue cooking until the rawness of the masala goes off. Then turn off the heat.
7. Heat oil in a tempering pan and add in mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter, add in curry leaves and let them sizzle for few seconds. Add this seasoning to the curry and mix well.
Serve gajbaje ambat hot as an accompaniment with hot kheeri or with a bowl of hot steaming rice.
For more Konkani cuisine curry recipes look here.
Tags: Ambat, gajbaje ambat, vegetable curry, spicy gravy, coconut curry, festival food, side dish, accompaniment, lunch, dinner, Konkani recipe, Konkani dish, Konkani cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, Konkani food.Ashtami chauthi