As I was doing my grocery shopping yesterday, I saw a lady selling something that looked like grass along with other vegetables. I got curious and walked up to her to inquire about it. She mentioned that it is a ranbhaji called as Phodshi and is only available during the rains. She also said that it is called Devkrupa bhaji because they do not cultivate it. It grows on its own during the rains each year.
You already know how much I love food stories, I stood there conversing with her and finding out more about the vegetable. She then shared her recipes for making the bhaji. Not just that I even got different recipes from the ladies around.
Let get to some of its technicalities-
Scientific Name: Chlorophytum Borivilianum
Other names: Safed Mulsi, Mushli, Karli, Kuli, Peva
Nutritional significance: I couldn’t find a lot of literature regarding the nutritional content Phodshi (ranbhaji) but I did find a mention of this vegetable in a paper published in the International Journal of Researchers in Bioscience, Agriculture and Technology wherein it states that this plant is a source of Carbohydrates, minerals, proteins and is useful in Anorexia, bronchitis, etc.
Availability : Early Monsoon ( June-July) but you do get it till around August. One can notice the subtle textural and flavor change in the one purchased in early monsoon and that purchased later.
Appearance: It appears like grass with broad leaves. They are around 1 foot in height and dark green in color with a white base. While consuming it, it should be thoroughly washed twice and the white part needs to be discarded. Though there some people who even use the white part.
Taste: Phodshi has an earthy flavor and vegetal taste. To be very precise it has a more grassy taste if you ever have tasted grass.
- 1 Deep frying Pan/Kadhai
- 2 Bunches Phodshi Washed and chopped
- 2 Medium Onions Finely chopped
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1-2 Green Chillies
- 2 tbsp Grated Coconut
- 2-3 tbsp Chana Dal Soaked *optional
- Salt as per taste
- Heat oil in a wok and add cumin. Let them splutter.
- Add onion and let it cook till it softens or turns pinkish brown.
- Add in the chili powder and salt. (If you chose to add in the chana dal, it has to be added at this stage and cooked till done.)
- Add in the chopped Phodshi and let it cook.Note:Unlike few other leafy vegetables, phodshi takes a little longer time to cook ( around 7-10mins ) but can get burnt or charred easily.
- Finally, add in the grated coconut. Give it a final toss and close the flame.
- Serve it with dal and rice or pithala and bhakri.
Other recipes that can be made with this vegetable- Bhajiyas, Phodshi with dried fish, etc