Archive for North Indian Gravies

Okra in a peanut-coconut sauce!

Ok, ok, I really don’t know the name of this dish, hence the vaguely descriptive title! I got this recipe from one of my best friends who lives in Bangalore. Hers used to be the place my friends and I land up when we wanted to have fun and also were tired of the monotonous hostel food. When I think of my student days in Bangalore, memories of the great times in Usha’s house play a major part. Of course, her cooking was an added attraction. One of her many specialities used to be this Bhindi dish, which tasted divine and didn’t have the usual garlic-onion-tomato base. So, last month when I spoke to her, I remembered to ask her for this recipe. I made this dish last week for a party and it was a huge success. I personally thought that it didn’t have the special ‘Usha’ touch but it did taste good! ok, so before you scroll below for the recipe let me warn you guys that it does take a lot of oil to make this dish delicious.Usha’s advice to me was not to skimp on the oil if I wanted the original taste( by original, I mean the ‘divine taste’ I mentioned before!). So with that little advisory, here goes the recipe:

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Serves 4

Take about 15 okras and cut them into 2inch pieces. Deep fry them and keep side.

Soak a lemon sized ball of tamarind in hot water and keep aside

Make a paste with little water of

1tsp Dhana powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1tsp red chilli powder and keep aside

Roast and blend

1/4 cup coconut

3-4 tbspoons peanuts

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp poppy seeds

In 4 tbspoons of oil fry

1/2tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp of kalonji(Nigella seeds)

4 red chillies and

2-3 bay leaves

Add the dhania-turmeric-red chilli paste to this. To this add the tamarind extract and heat for a few minutes. Add the ground peanut-coconut paste and let it boil untill the raw smell is gone. Salt this boiling mixture, adjust the spiciness by adding more red chilly powder if necessary and finally throw in the fried okra.

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Though the list of ingredients and processes seem never ending, the final curry is delicious and rea—lly worth the effort. It is of course better to make this for a special occasion or for a party,so that you could have delicious left overs ie if you have any!!!:-))

Tips:

You could also use small egg plants instead of the okra. Make a plus and slit it half way from theĀ  top of the egg plant before you fry it.

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Bhinid Do Pyaza :Okra in a bed of onions with yogurt base

Bhindi/Okra/Lady’s finger is one of the vivacious vegetables in the produce section of the Indian store.Back home, this elegant, vividly green veggie is a favorite in my family. My amma makes either crunchy okra fry or delicious okra sambar. Recently my friend Pinal had subscribed to the famous Tarla Dalal’s recipes and enthusiastically forwarded all of them to me. One of the recipes was Bhindi Do Pyaza which was different from the one’s I had tasted. In her websiteTarla Dalal says: “Do pyaza” denotes presence of double the quantity of onions than that found in any other style of preparation. The curds added towards the end of this dish add more sharpness to this dish.

I followed mostly the original recipe except that instead of slicing the bhindis I cut them into 1/3″ pieces because I didn’t notice the word “sliced” in her recipe until I saw the picture in the website.That is why I like great pictures of food which speak volumes more than just the recipe; or you could just say that I was impatient and overlooked the writing:-))But anyway no harm done since they are very tasty this way too! I added about 1/4 tsp of garam masala in the end because I like the mouth-watering fragrance it immediately generates!! The garnish of cilanthro in the picture is also my addition to bring more color and flavor. The picture of the curry in her website, looks crunchy while mine looks a lot softer. I am blogging this recipe for my sister! I confess that I like this dish because it is a simple,tasty and healthy one pot meal which I can cook easily after a tiring day’s work!! This is also my hubby’s favorite curry and goes well with parathas and rotis. Thanks to Pinal for forwarding this wonderful recipe to me.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3 cups bhindi (ladies finger), cut into 1/3″ pieces

1 and 1/2 cups onions, chopped

3 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera)

1 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)

3 teaspoons ginger paste

1 to 2 green chillies, chopped

1/2 cup yogurt, whisked

3 tablespoons oil

1/4 tsp garam masala (optional)

roughtly chopped cilanthro to garnish (optional)

salt to taste

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Method

Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and nigella seeds
and allow the seeds to crackle.

Add the onions, turmeric powder, ginger paste and green chillies and cook till the onions are tender.

Add the bhindi and salt and cook over a medium flame till the bhindi is tender.

Add the whisked yogurt and cook till the yogurt dries out.

Add 1/4 tsp garam masala,turn off the stove and serve hot with parathas or rotis.

Handy tips by Tarla Dalal

1.Bhindi tends to get sticky while cooking. Do not cover the pan while cooking and the stickiness will dry out without the presence of steam.

2. Cook the bhindi over a slow flame for best results.

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