Bhindi (Okra)

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites; something my Dad has been making for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure if it’s a classic Indian dish, because I’ve never had okra prepared quite the same way. For those of you who are “okra-phobic” try this recipe! Okra sure can be nasty in other dishes, where it remains gooey and sticky. In this recipe however it loses that slimy feeling completely. Even people that despise all vegetables seem to like this dish!

A funny side note, I bought all the okra in my local grocery store and they have not replaced it in the last year; now when I buy okra I am sure to leave at least one package still in the case!

Bhindi my Papa’s way!
Feeds about two people as a meal accompaniment

1 lb package of frozen chopped okra (or fresh if you can find it! make sure you pick tender pieces; big pieces are usually tough and hard to chew)
2 tbsp canola or olive oil
3 dried red chilli’s, broken in half (more or less depending on the heat of the chilli’s you have)
1tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of the following: ground cumin, coriander powder, turmeric powder
1 to 2 heaping tbsp of low fat plain yogurt
Salt to taste
For this recipe, a nonstick pan works very well!

Heat up the oil in pan, then add in the chilli’s, cumin seeds and all the spices. Shake the pan until they are all spread out in the oil, then add frozen okra. Next add the yogurt. Make sure the mixture is stirred well. Cook on a medium flame until liquid evaporates. The picture below shows what it will look like for a while, until all the liquid is gone. Add salt to taste. Don’t get frustrated; it takes a while for all the liquid to disappear!

Once the liquid has evaporated, be more careful and stir every couple of minutes because it will stick a bit (turn down the flame if you want to stir less often). It’s nice to get the okra a little bit brown around the edges; for some reason it seems to improve the taste dramatically.

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