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Recipes

Sana's Bhindi (home-style okra)

Sana's Bhindi (home-style okra)

Sana's Bhindi (home-style okra)

Recipe By:

Adapted from Tarla Dalal’s recipe

Serves: 2-3

My blood type: 100% Bhindi. My favorite food, by far. 

Gujarati Jain cooking excludes onions and garlic, so I grew up eating my bhindi sans aromatics. But frequent trips across South India taught me the beautiful pairing that is shallots and okra - so this version is a cocktail of a Gujarati vaghar (tempered spices) with Chettinad inspired shallot flair. 

PS - The key to not ending up with slimy okra is not adding the salt until the very end, and making sure your okra is completely dry when it hits the pan. 

Ingredients

 Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

  • 1 pound okra, about 4 cups stemmed and cut cross-sectionally into ½ inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green garlic (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (jeera) - divided in half
  • 1 teaspoon Pragati Turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground Nandini Coriander (dhania)
  • 1 teaspoon Sannam Chilli Powder
  • ~ 4 sprigs finely chopped cilantro (optional)
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of freshly ground Aranya Black Pepper
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)

 

Method

  1. Grind half your cumin and all your coriander into a fine powder in a spice grinder. Set aside. 
  2. Heat the ghee in a large non-stick pan on medium flame and add the shallots and green garlic. Cook until soft and lightly browned. 
  3. Now add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds crackle (this should be after about 2-3 minutes), add the turmeric, coriander-cumin powder, pepper and chilli powder and toast until fragrant (usually less than 30 seconds). 
  4. Add in the chopped okra and cook for 5-6 minutes. Stir as little as possible. When cooked to your liking (I like my okra just done, with a little bit of crunch still left, cook for longer 2-3 minutes if you like a softer okra), turn off the flame and add salt to taste. 
  5. Garnish with cilantro and serve atop khichdi (or plain rice) and a dollop of full fat yogurt.