Khatti Bhujji- Colocasia Smoky Tangy Dish


This is  tangy, smoke flavored Himachal Pradesh,  ethnic cuisine made of colocasia or arbi leaves and bulbs. My grandma used to cook this for us in winters. It was father’s day this week and I asked my papa, what does he craves for-  and that is  how we got this. I got fresh leaves and bulbs in Asian grocery store in New Jersey. Here is the recipe:

  • Colcocasia leaves- 10
  • Colocasia bulb (Arbi) and stems- 4 medium sized
  • Mutsrad oil- 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander seeds- 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Red dried chilies- 2-3
  • Salt- as per taste
  • Charcoal piece
  • Tamarind pulp or raw  mango pieces dried (maakdi)
  1. Take whole plant (Leaves, stem, and bulb) of arbi. If not available- take leaves and get arbi bulbs separately.
  2. Wash nicely as there is lot of mud in it.
  3. Finely chop leaves.
  4. Cut colocasia  bulbs(arbi)in to medium size cubes.
  5. Heat mustard oil in a pan with lid or  in a pressure cooker.
  6. Once it reaches the smoking point, add red chilies, coriander seeds and asafoetida.
  7. Let it release the fragrance.
  8. Now add cubes of colocacia or arbi.
  9. Add dry mango pieces. If you don’t have dry mango pieces you can add tamarind pulp too.
  10. Cook on medium flame for 15 minutes. Now add finely chopped leaves and cook for another 5 minutes. Add salt, turmeric. Keep stirring.
  11. Put the lid of the cooker on  and let it whistle for 2 times. Switch off and let the pressure release naturally. Alternatively, in a pan cook until the bulbs get softened.
  12. Smoking/Dhuni: Once the dish is ready. Heat a charcoal piece.
  13. Pour few drops of mustard oil over  on the burning charcoal.
  14. Put the burning piece with flames and fumes  inside the cooked  vegetable pot.
  15. Cover the lid.
  16. The fumes with flavor of smoke and mustard oil are absorbed and gives a very nice flavor.
  17. Enjoy with corn roti, Pita, or rice.
  18. TIP: grease your hands with mustard oil to avoid itchy hands later.

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