Bhee Patata

Memories are myopic? Are they?? Well I don’t completely agree to this belief, since I am amongst those who dwell in beautiful past. I hate to look at reprehensible stuff around me, but unfortunately I am always forced to throw myself in pits of gloom, corruption, political vested interests and rising prices and declining bank balances. Pity, I can’t turn my eyes off the budging ugly head of terrorism and hatred but I wish I was allowed to be self occupied, innocent, energetic and bubbly kid forever and ever and ever!
Well, I donโ€™t wear wishbones where my backbone ought to be, I am as practical as a person is supposed to be, but still there are moments when I simply loathe growing up , because no longer I enjoy the simple blessings of life, as I did ,when life was all about toys and plays, friends and laughter, school and homework, Chuppa chuppi and chor police. The new generation is just not interested in such outdated outdoor games, when they have fancy gizmos to fiddle around for their amusements.
Sincerely, how many of you remember chasing your friends behind the nook and corners of houses to do a Thappi (patting the wall to declare out) or during blind buff? How many of you still cherish the memories of climbing the trees of neighbours to pluck the mangoes or guavas?
How many of you hid the bruised knee or elbows from your parents, so that they don’t come to know about your adventure of climbing on a roof to get back that shuttlecock which almost always landed to the neighbor’s roof?
Is anyone still nostalgic about the so called doll’s wedding, a trip to a neighbouring park with friends, breaking glass window panes with your cricket balls, or that triumphant shout when you got hold of that kite at some higher branch of tree, the non ending talks with your friends at a terrace, sharing your innermost joys and woes? The Group studies, the nights that were spent awake studying at some friend’s place with many rounds of milk, tea and snacks courtesy the lovely aunts. The way you freaked at the thought of appearing for exams, or the most peaceful feeling in the world, when you handed the last exam answer paper to your teacher?
The celebration of clearing exams, at some roadside restaurant, by relishing Dosa, pavbhaji or even Vadapav, when you were surviving on shoestring budget. The shrieks (of joy) of friends in hostel when you carried some homemade Gaajar ka halwa or Ladoos,which your mother packed for them, so that the poor things do not miss their families on festivals. Those silly fears, ridiculous fights, melodramatic patch ups, all in all, a great life!
I miss those days? Do you??
My mind was flooded with nostalgic memories, since I made this Prasad rice and Bhee patata (lotus stem and potato curry because of two reasons….one that this preparation is generally distributed at langars and they taste awesome, and secondly this lunch enjoyed the numero uno position during marriage ceremonies of Sindhis, few decades back, when there was no trend of buffet lunch or dinner as such. The marriage ceremony was held in a simple way, with just biscuits and Sherbets or tea. But yes, relatives and neighbours were included into the joyous atmosphere by sharing this Bheepatata and Degh waara chaanwaran. Huge iron or aluminum pots or containers were used for cooking on the logs of wood, or coal (sighri) or stove and generous quantities of rice and curry were cooked and the ceremonial feast was then shared with friends, relatives and neighbours as a part of marriage ritual.
So let me share, how I made this most wonderful Sindhi curry and rice. The above thali consists of Degh waara Chaanwaran (spiced rice), Bheepatata (lotus stem and potato curry), Gulabjamun, Roti (flatbread), Sindhi Papad, Ghogroon ji khatairn (Turnip pickle), and Kabab (fryums made from rice flour).

ย 

ย Bhee patata (lotus stem and potato curry)

Bhee patata ain Degh waara chaawaran
 
Author:
Recipe type: Maincourse
 
Traditional Sindhi style Lotus stem potato curry with spiced rice served during marriages
Ingredients
For Rice
  • 2 cup basmati rice or any brand that you generally use.
  • 1 small (1") piece of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 whole black cardamom (vadho photo or black elaichi)
  • 2 -3 black pepper corns
  • 1 Bayleaf (or tejpatta)
  • Approximately 4 and half cups of water (you may need more or less depending upon the type of rice and its quality)
  • Few drops of orange food colour (optional)
  • Salt as per taste
For Curry
  • 2 Potatoes -Do not peel the skin.
  • Lotus stem (roots) or Bhee.Here again thoroughly wash the stem and get rid of the mud.The pores of stem, if still muddy, could be cleaned with tooth picks.
  • 8-10 ,1 cm thick pieces of bhee..Don't forget to slice them in slants
  • 2 Onions (medium sized)
  • 2 tomatoes (small )
  • 1 small brinjal
  • Shelled green peas, a handful
  • Ginger about 1"
  • Green chillies 2-3 depending upon your taste
  • 1 /4 tsp Garam Masala
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • ½ tsp Jeera powder
  • Salt to Taste
  • 2-4 tsp Oil
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
Method
To Make Rice
  1. Pick and rinse rice few times with water, till water runs clear.
  2. Let the rice soak in water for about half hour (or 15 minutes if using Basmati)
  3. In a heavy bottom pan, add 2 tsp of oil and put all the whole spices and stir fry for few seconds.
  4. Add rice and salt and mix gently.
  5. Add water (almost double the quantity of rice) and few drops of orange colour (optional). Mix well, allow it to boil and then simmer.Cover it with lid and gently mix it for one or two times intermittently.
  6. Cook till done.
  7. Serve hot with Bhee patata curry
To Make Curry
  1. Clean and cut bhee into slanting slices and pressure cook them with some salt and water till done (2-4 whistles of pressure cooker, depending on quality of bhee)
  2. Drain and keep aside.
  3. Clean the potatoes and cut them into large chunks.Wash and add salt.Soak in water if potatoes start to oxidize.
  4. In the pressure cooker, add 2 -4 tsp of oil and saute chopped onions.
  5. When onions turn pinkish, add chopped brinjal (with skin) and saute it till the mixture is brown in colour.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes,salt,chopped green chillies, ginger and all dry masalas.
  7. Stir and cook for few minutes on high flame and add potatoes and bhee. Add few spoons of water if the mixture tends to stick to the bottom of cooker.
  8. After 2-3 minutes of bhunoing, add hot water and shelled peas.The water should be just above the level of bhee and potatoes.
  9. Close the lid of cooker and wait for one whistle and then cook on lowest flame, under pressure for 2-5 min.Put off the flame.
  10. When the pressure subsides,open the lid and check for the seasoning and consistency of gravy and adjust according to your taste.
  11. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and enjoy it with piping hot rice.
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33 thoughts on “Bhee Patata

  1. Hi I lived in Dubai all my life but the scenes In your descriptions took me back to my childhood . We may have 100 fold money to the past and even more than our parents even wanted us to but those days were true bliss . I wanted to make sai bhaji , seyal mani ,and bhuno Pulao. This took me back to my dadi’s house , my masi’s house where we were asked what will you eat today . I wish I could take those memories with me , a 100 five star meals cannot compensate that warmth and love .
    Thank you

  2. Rajni Keswani says:

    Hi Alka, I live in Bombay, and last week only I have come to visit Switzerland. We love Beeh very much. In Switzerland we don’t get Beeh here. The moment I read this recipe, I got crazy….where should I find Beeh here….. ” Sach pach Tu asankhe Bombay pahuchae chadyo”
    As soon as I return to Bombay, the first thing and my first priority would be to bring Beeh from Khar and make your recipe.
    Thank you very very much.

  3. nice recipes I am from kerala,

  4. Dear Alka, Nostalgia for me too because ,throughout my stay in Bombay ( then not Mumbai) I stayed in Sion and a neighbour brought me lotus stem curry and that was when I was first got introduced to this delicious curry with lotus stem totally unheard of till then. Unforunately in Canada we get only the frozen ones in packets and not fresh which though it required a lot of cleaning was tastier.

  5. Hi Alka.Posted Bhee Patata for T&T.Though I made this long ago,I can still remeber its yumminess.Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.Btw,that thali looks too good for words ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Mouthwatering!

    However, it appears that Thali is on its way out atleast in Mumbai.

  7. What a stunningly delicious thaali that is…

  8. wow, alka, that thali has me halfway to heaven. i remember eating something similar at kailas parbat. lip-smacking food.

  9. Basantlal Nagdev says:

    Beganey shaadi main Abdulla diwana? Avoid peas and brinjal in this recipe

  10. thali looks mouth watering alka

  11. That is a lovely post and I haven’t eaten bhee patata in ages. My dad loves bhee and I loathed it as a kid but I would so love to eat it now.

  12. wow alka..that looks so mouth watering…and your post is really nostalgic..brings back so many fond memories!

  13. Basantlal Nagdev says:

    RECIPE FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR
    Take twelve whole months.
    Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness,
    hate, and jealousy.
    Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

    Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or
    thirty-one different parts,
    but don’t make up the whole batch at once.
    Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

    Mix well into each day one part of faith,
    one part of patience, one part of courage,
    and one part of work.
    Add to each day one part of hope,
    faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.
    Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation,
    and one good deed.
    Season the whole with a dash of good spirits,
    a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play,
    and a cupful of good humor.

    Pour all of this into a vessel of love.
    Cook thoroughly over radiant joy,
    garnish with a smile,
    and serve with quietness, unselfishness,
    and cheerfulness.
    You’re bound to have a happy new year.

  14. Right now, i am jumping with delight…you see, i love koki, so when i saw “sindhi rasoi”, i was hoping i’d find koki here. And there it was, almost jumping out of the page! Am new to blogging, have blogged about sai bhaji – do take a peek and tell me if it sounds good to you.

  15. Pooja Thawani says:

    Hi Alka,I ahve been going through your site regularly and try receiprs at home and give it to my sasu maa also….she loves it .

  16. OK, I have to admit; I looked at the first picture and could not stop drooling. I then I read about your memories; very aptly put, very true but I just don’t know what to say. My mind just goes blank and anything I say might not look apt. So all I will do is give you a big virtual hug and hope and pray that we live in a peaceful world, putting aside our so called differences.

  17. Basantlal Nagdev says:

    there is a very good recipe called “kuney ja bhiya”. Its lotus root steamed in earthen pots. I have tasted many times from a vendor from Ulhasnagar. Its superb !!!!! ANY ONE HAVING THIS RECIPE PLS CONTACT ALKAJI

  18. Haven’t eaten lotus stems since i don’t know how long. Mom used to make a very simple but lovely dish with it. Yous looks fantastic! Thali looks so beautiful! just realised that you are the same Alka as the one in whose blog I just commented . ๐Ÿ˜€
    Good to know you! And a Very Happy New Year 2009 to you and your family!

  19. The bright yellow bobby. Ah yes, I miss the bright yellow bobby!

  20. The bright yellow bobby. Ah, I miss the bright yellow bobby!

  21. Wish you and your family a very Happy New Year. Good post and delicious Thali.

  22. This is such a wonderful post! Mouth-watering thali with stunning pictures.

  23. Who doesn’t love those “good old days”?
    Sometimes I feel sad that our children will never know some the simple joys of those days. I think the fact that they get bored with today’s past times says a lot in itself!
    One of the reasons we chose not to live in a larger city.:)

    Asking for lotus stem here would be like looking for the pot of gold!!

    A Happy New Year to you.

  24. My memories do tend to swoosh over the bad stuff and dwell on the good, I’d say. Not always a good idea, I guess, but works for me ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for the lovely lotus stem recipe. I saw some just the other day at an Asian grocery here, but wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now I’ll be sure to pick some up, thanks to you!

  25. I was just talking to my daughter about the games we used to play when she started complaining about being bored after a marathon session on her numerous electronic games ๐Ÿ™ Even without external stimulation I was not aware of a time when I was bored.

    Finally the day has come and I am going to cook the Lotus Root that has been languishing in my freezer for a long time.

  26. What a spread! Your post brings back tons of memories.

  27. Such a great post…Thali looks delicious n makes me hungry!

  28. Basantlal Nagdev says:

    “Daba ais pies” In 50’s there used to daba for some cigarettes. The daba used to be kept in centre and someone use to kick the daba and all of the players would go in hiding. The “punished” boy/girl would bring back the daba in the centre and go to search all. If by chance someone reached the daba/or kept his/her leg on the daba, the punished would continue to be punished, till he/she found someone? The found would continue as “punished” and search others.
    This game soon vanished in 60’s.
    In 50’s, during Diwali, children used to make “Kilas” or fort, resembling some famous fort. In Bombay this activity too vanished, but the main source which was Poona, still has this activity. Where both boys n girls take interest. Prizes were given for best “Kila”. I remember my neighbouring building in Matunga (Mumbai, then Bombay) was awarded the best prize for making replica of Aarey Milk Colony. The then milk commissioner, personally awarded the prize.
    “Ghee ka jhamana khatam huva. Ab tel ka jhamana hain”

  29. Basantlal Nagdev says:

    “Bhagat” are well known artists, who perform during Sindhi festivals like chetichand etc. Some well known Bhagat was invited by a lady for lunch. Bhagat said “sorry” i am very busy. Maybe I will come for lunch some other time. The lady said “Bhagat saheb” I will prepare “baheri” bhaji, so pls do come. “Bhagat saheb ke muh main pani aa gaya”. He agreed to come for lunch, with his group.
    Next day Bhagat went to the lady’s house and was served “baheri” bhaji in a big “katora” with rice n chapatis.
    Bhagat thought that “baheri” bhaji must be some non-veg ? Maybe some mutton?. So he took one big piece of chapati and dipped in the “katora” and wow only one big potato came out. He thought the lady must have added some potatoes to mutton? One more chapati piece and took out a big piece of brinjal? Kya baat hain? Seems people now add brinjal too in mutton?. He tried again, only potatoes and brinjal were seen in the “katora”…….He called the host “Dadi” hin katoriyan main sirf potatoes ahon wangar(brinjal) ahen, “TIWAR” (mutton) kathey ahen (where is mutton?)
    The lady said “BHAGAT SAHEB ASA……..(sub-caste of Sindhi) hina wangar patatey khey hi “baheri” bhaji chavanda ayun. (We …call potato-brinjal bhaji as “baheri” bhaji).
    So, I have told a long story. But moral of the story is that Alkaji has shown recipe of “Baheri” Bhaji with the help of lotus roots

  30. Oh Alka.. This is as if my mind talking… Doll weddings!.. i talk to my daughter about it, who has loads of high heeled barbies dumped in corner.. how even my mom cooked for the doll’s wedding feast.. making pani puri sized poories…yes climbing trees.. and eating red centered guavas.. scraping my knees and walking half a mile to a pharmacy to get meds, so my mom would not see the bruise.. we used to ring the bell in the neighbors house a zillion times.. & jump on the terrace to wake up people from naps! Such horrific things to do!

    & I miss the wedding feast served on plaintain leaves. People call me old fashioned!

    Can I come over? I see u set up your plate so well:-)

  31. Hi Alka, that was such a great post..I got goosebumps reading through it.. I remember all those days of hiding n seek, running around, climbing trees, plucking fruits, patting on wall to declare out, group studies and all! oh my, i could relate to each and every word!thanks a zillion for getting all those memories back..and the thali looks amazing too:)hugs,Keerthana

  32. Basantlal nagdev says:

    Alka beta, you have really woke me. Its many many months that I have not tasted this simple but tasty bhein patata. May be because lotus roots are not easily available in Pune. They are available only in Shivaji market (camp). I really envy Sindhis who live in Pimpri/Ulhasnagar, where good quality bhein are available. Tommorrow I will try and get some from camp.
    Pls pls do not use any artificial food colour in food because manufacturers of dyes, themselves call it diluted “poison”. My inlaws are manufacturers of dyes and in 1970 Coco Cola company approached them for “Cola” colour. They said that they cannot give as food colour and they continue buying from M/s…. who dilutes the dye and passes on as food colour ( as per food and drug acts).
    Next day onwards my in laws stopped drinking Coco cola because they knew what all acids and chemicals go in production of “Cola” or any other colour. I am
    Now rice must look colourful……just add 1/2 tsp turmeric to 1 tsp lemon juice….wow….you will get wonderful sunset orange colour. Add this natural colour to rice.
    This new year gift of bhein patata and rice is a nice gift. “Old wine in new bottle”
    The last and best thing about sindhi rasoi is the photographs that accompany the recipe. “Recipe ko char chand lagadete hain”
    Keep up the good work and wish you and all “A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009”

  33. Great post Alka! My memories are not myopic – I suffer from hypermetropic memory disorder:) Did you ever play gittas? throwing up pebbles and catching them, pushing them with one hand at the same time etc.? that used to be my fave game, and oranges and lemons!

    Kaash aap yahaan hote! Is thaali ke liye mein daudi chali aathi!!:)

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