Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I am an Indian. Did you know that? No, you did not? Why? 'Coz you freakin hardly ever post any Indian recipes!!! Thats why!
Ok. Got it. Point noted.
(Well, that I hardly ever post *any* recipes would not be far from wrong lately, but we'll leave that for another day)
In my conscious effort to prove my 'desi'ness, and my love of Indian food, there will be some posts on Indian food in the coming days.
Bhindi - Okra or lady's fingers(!!) as it is also known, is a vegetable that I have seen many people shy away from. Too slimy, gooey and slightly messy is their reason. And of course some, who do not know what to use it for. I was surprised when at the grocery store where I was painstakingly choosing each okra for purchase, a Swiss women asked me whether it was a type of chili. Well, we Indians do eat spicy food, but I was loading up like a kilo of okra - surely I'd be just plain mad to be using all that amount of "chili" in a recipe!..Bad joke..
Okra is often used as a thickener in soups and stews in different cuisines. In India, it is often one of the vegetables added to Sambhar - a soup made with dal, tamarind and a few vegetables. In the north, it is generally fried with onions, and sometimes tomatoes.
Bhindi do pyaza is the dish on the menu today.
Bhindi = okra
do = 2 or twice
pyaza = onions
Twice the amount of onions that added in any other similar vegetable preparation.
So the vegetables used are just 2 - okra and onions. And the rest are all spices. This is the dish I have eaten okra in all my life. And I love it! It gets a bit slimy while cooking - but I am quite ok with it. Adding a bit of sourness - like lemon juice or vinegar does help cut the sliminess. So here is the recipe.
25-30 Okras, washed, dried and cut into 1/4" pieces, or slit lengthwise
2 medium Onions, thinly sliced
3+1 tbsp Oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Lime/Lemon Juice(optional)
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon red chilly powder, adjust to taste
1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
1 and half teaspoon garam masala
- Wash and thoroughly dry the okra
- Cut the tip and a 1/4" from the bottom and discard
- Cut the okra into 1/4" pieces, or slit lengthwise
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a pan
- Add in the okra and stir fry on high heat for 6-7 minutes
- Transfer to a dry plate
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan
- Add in the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle
- Add the onions and salt and fry them until the become translucent
- Add in the remaining spices and let them cook for a few minutes. Ideally you should see a bit of oil seperating when the spices have cooked
- Mix in the okra and let it all cook for another 2-3 minutes. If it gets too slimy, then add in the lemon juice as well.
- Do not be stingy in the amount of oil added
- Keep the heat high while stir frying the okra
- If making okra the first time, you can just try slitting the okra lenghtwise. Chopping into small pieces, while ensures faster cooking, can get a tad messy due to the goo.
- Make sure the okra is completely dry before you get chopping it.
- Only choose the okra that is very fresh, not even slightly wilted. Remember the "painstakingly choosing every okra" reference in the beginning of this post? :) Share