Vat Pournime Chi Panchbheli Bhaaji – mixed sprout subzi

Jyeshtha Pournima (the full moon day of the Hindu month of Jyeshth) is celebrated across Maharashtra as वट पौर्णिमा. The ritual worship of banyan trees and wives fasting for the long lives of their husbands.

The day long fast associated with the ritual (something like a Maharashtrian karwa chauth) was given up in my family a long time ago. Since mom was a working professional, Aaji decreed that she couldn’t possibly be expected to fast.

She continued cooking this ceremonial meal (typically made for breaking the fast) though. The menu for the day every year at our home comprises this पंचभेळी subzi – 5 sprouted pulses along with Aam-Ras and puris.

The traditional menu (sprouts and aam Ras puri) is still cooked in most Pathare Prabhu homes to mark this day.

Here’s the recipe for this simple yet delicious vegetarian dish

Mixed Sprouts (moong, chawli (lobia or black eyed beans) vaal (bitter field beans), chana (red gram) and kala vatana (black peas)- or any 5 of your choice)… traditionally, every pulse (including the moong) are peeled. Without delving into the nutritional virtues of cooking the sprouts with the peels on, I assure you that the deskinned ones taste delicious. I was too lazy to peel them off this year.

Heat oil, add a pinch of hing and jeera- splutter and add a chopped onion. Aaji wouldn’t make it with onions initially – but later, when mom and she gave up fasting, she started adding them. I guess for upvaas, one doesn’t use onions.

Once the onion is translucent, throw in the sprouts and steam cook till all are done.

You may want to pressure cook the vatana and chana first and cook vaal, moong and chavli separately – as they all cook at different points and if you try cooking these all together, it becomes a mash. Add water as required.

Add turmeric, red chilli powder and PP Sambhar as per taste.

Once cooked completely, add salt and sugar and loads of fresh grated coconut. Give it a good mix and serve with aam Ras and puris.

Ingredient measures

1 tbsp oil

Pinch of Hing

½ tsp Jeera

1 medium sized onion – finely chopped

2 cups – Mixed sprouts (moong, vaal, chana, chavli, black peas)

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp Pathare Prabhu Sambhar

Salt and Sugar to taste

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