Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bhindi Masala

Bhindi or Okra is a favorite green vegetable of mine. Amma makes a typical Southern Indian poriyal which is oh-so-simple and yummy. I especially love it with amma's rasam. Most of the recipes I have on my blog are skewed towards being Northern Indian cuisine which is a little weird given that I am actually a Tamilian a.ka. South Indian. Read here for the complete rant which had me side-tracked for about 30 mins. Yes, I DO know that I suffer from border-line ADD. And OCD. But, whatever.

Given my horribly health conscious lifestyle here, I hardly eat rice regularly anymore and so I'm always on the lookout for recipe variations of my favorite vegetables and other South Indian favorites that I can pair with rotis/phulkas. And that's exactly how I landed on this recipe. Everytime I pick out THE recipe to try, it's only because of one reason and one reason alone: I need to have ALL the ingredients in my spice shelf. I think I haven't yet reached that stage where I have begun experimenting wildly with my cooking. It's gonna take some time to get there. Until then, risk-averse me is going to stick to trying out recipes with minimal changes. So here goes!
Bhindi/Okra - 1/4 to 1/2 lb
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies (slit) - 2
Red onion - 1 medium, halved and sliced lengthwise
Tomato - 1 small or 1/2 medium, halved and sliced lengthwise
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Amchoor powder (dried mango powder) - 1 generous tsp
Coriander leaves - freshly chopped
Water- 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste

1. Wash the bhindi/okra and cut off the ends. Slit it lengthwise and chop into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter the cumin seeds. Add the ginger garlic paste and green chillies. Fry for about 30 secs and add the turmeric powder. Give it a quick stir and add the sliced onions and dry until transparent and pink. Add some salt to speed up the process and prevent the onions from burning.
3. Now add the bhindi/okra and let it cook for about 5 to 8 mins. Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Mix well, add 1/2 cup water and cover and cook for about 15 mins.
4. Add the tomatoes after it has cooked and mix. Add a little more water at this stage if you would like. Mix the tomatoes and cover and cook for another 15 mins.
5. Finally, add the amchoor powder and coriander leaves. Check the seasoning to make sure its right. Switch off the stove, cover and set aside until you're ready to eat.

I personally love this with fresh ghee phulkas. I've made some changes to the original recipe based on my judgement and personal taste. I've tried this umpteen times and love it. It's got an amazing tangy taste to it due to the amchoor powder and the tomatoes that are added at the very end. It also goes well with thayir sadham :) Yes, I am a South Indian who loves my thayir sadham...sue me!

Minimally adapted from this recipe -

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