One of the vegetables I hated as a child and started loving while growing up is Okra. As a kid I hated it because it felt slimy and reminded me of tadpoles and mucous(Yuck!!), and I used to gobble it down with a glass of water only because I knew my Mother's wrath! Okra is one such veggie - you either hate them or you completely love them!!
Once while in hostel my friends and I had this extremely crisp bhindi, and my view changed completely after that. The crisp bhindis tasted amazing but then they were fried in lot of oil. Now I make prepare bhindi stir fry very often as my son just loves it and craves for it if I don't make it at least once in a week! This is the kind of bhindi I love - It is simple, does not require much oil and looks as good as it tastes!
I hope you like it as much as I do. This is a beginner's recipe, so if you taking your baby steps towards cooking, this one is just the right thing for you! Sometimes when the okra/bhindi/lady fingers is really tender, I like to slit it into four lengthwise, and then chop them 1 inch long, and sometimes when I am in a hurry, I just chop into really thin discs. Either way they look nice, but I feel the long green slits look amazingly bright - probably because they do not burn as easily as the discs do!!
To get a cup of cooked veggies, you required at least three cups of raw chopped okra, as they tend to shrink while cooking.
Okra should be cleaned well before chopping and dried completely with a cloth. I generally wash it in the night and leave it spread out in a large colander for the next morning.
Okra - 3 cups (Slit or chopped into discs)
One small onion - sliced thin or chopped fine depending on how your okra is chopped
Oil - 3 tsps.
Salt to taste
A pinch of turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. - Red Chilli powder
1/8 tsp. - Jeera seeds / Cumin seeds
1/8 tsp. - Ajwain seeds/Carom seeds
1/4 tsp. - Freshly ground Coriander seeds powder (Optional)
A pinch of amchoor(Dry mango powder) or Chaat masala or1/2tsp. of tamarind extract - anything sour to dry up the slimy fluid in okra
Splutter jeera and ajwain.
Fry the onion till transparent.
Add the chopped/sliced okra, and toss for 2 minutes, add amchoor and toss well. Cover and cook for a minute.
Uncover and add all the powders, and salt except coriander. Mix well till the sliminess disappears. The bhindi should still retain the green colour.
If you like masala, add the coriander powder just before removing. (I do not do this)
OR if you like your okra crisp then,
Fry one small finely chopped onion in the oil and then proceed as above. Keep frying uncovered till the bhindi turns a shade dark and crisp, like the one below. I sometimes do this, as my daughter loves this.
You could garnish the bhindi with freshly scraped coconut as my mom does. I do not do this usually as I am lazy about the scraping bit:)
This stir fry is an often cooked dish at most Indian houses, and tastes equally great with rice and Dal/Rasam/Sambar/Morkootan/Kadhi, as with Rotis.
The Bhindi Fry goes to FIC-Green hosted by me(Sunshinemom), and running green this month.
You might like bhindi like this:
These on Tongue Ticklers:
Mint Masala Dosa
Pudina / Mint Chutney
Zucchini and Coriander Flower Soup
Spinach Soup / Palak Shorba
Gutte Ki Subzi / Chickpea Flour Dumplings in Green Gravy
Keerai Molagootal / Spinach in Coconut Gravy
Hara Paneer Tikka / Cottage Cheese Marinated in Green Dip
Kothimbir Vadi or Gramflour coriander squares
Labels: Beginner's cooking, Colour - Green, Cuisine - North Indian, Ing. - Bhindi or Okra, Vegan - Side dish