BHINDI MASALA (Okra fried in aromatic spices)
This mouth-watering and delicious recipe makes an excellent side dish. It is filled with aromatic and flavourful spices. Dhania Jeera Powder (coriander-cumin powder) as the name suggests is the blend of whole coriander and cumin seeds grounded into a fine powder. It is an important spice used in Western Indian Cooking to flavour vegetable curries. This wonderful recipe is given to me by a dear friend Mrs. M. The home-made Dhania-Jeera Powder adds distinctive taste and aroma to the dish.
Prep time : 10mins
Cooking time : 30mins
1 large onion finely chopped
2 large ripe red tomatoes finely chopped
1½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
few curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mild chilly powder
1 tbspn dhania jeera powder* (home-made/store bought)
1 tsp garam masala
¼ tsp sugar
few coriander leaves
½ slice lemon
½ tspn ghee
salt to taste
Wash/dry/remove the crown and trim the ends. Cut the vegetable into 1” pieces
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Tip in the okra and gently fry on a low to medium heat till it becomes crisp, taking care not to burn the vegetable. Transfer and keep aside.
Into the same vessel, add little oil, add onion, saute for some time. Tip in ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves. Saute for few minutes. The onion will turn light golden brown.
Add the masala powders except the garam masala powder and mix well.
Add tomatoes, salt and combine everything together. Allow it to cook till oil starts releasing at the edges and tomatoes turn soft and mushy. Now, add sugar. Stir.
At the final stage, add okra and cook for 10 mins on low heat, uncovered. Add garam masala and hand-squeeze little lemon juice. Give a good mix.
Garnish with half tsp ghee and coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or steamed rice.
The cook’s notes
*dry roast 1½ tbspn coriander seeds and ½ tbspn cumin seeds separately. Grind it to a fine powder and use as required. (can also add pepper, 1 clove and 1/2” cinnamon stick)
It is important to dry the okra after cleaning and once added to the dish, cook uncovered
the vegetable should retain its shape
while frying, the okra should not turn black or brown