Sunday, 14 October 2012

Bhindi masala with onions and peppers (okra)

This is such an awesome dish!! It Is packed full of nutrients, takes only a jiffy to cook and tastes amazing with basmati rice khadi and chapatis. If you are new to okra, you must realise that you have to cook it just right, otherwise it turns out sticky and not very nice.

There are various key points to remember when cooking okra. My method is absolutely fool proof and has never failed me yet!

1) It must be washed and and dried thoroughly before you even start to consider chopping it.

2) After you have washed and prepared your okra, you should let it air dry on a paper towel for as long as possible, even the night before!

3) During the cooking process you should never touch or stir the okra more than you have too. Just leave it alone to cook gently on a low to medium heat.

I always tend to stir fry the okra in a small amount of oil and also a important tip is to never add salt to okra when it is cooking. only ever add salt at the end.

Anyway here is my recipe.

(On this occasion I used frozen okra, but fresh is really recommended)

1/2 bag of frozen okra,
1 tbs oil, + 1/2 tbs extra,
1/4 tsp mustard seeds,
1/2 tsp cumin seeds,
a pinch of hing ( asafoetida)
1 small onion, or half a large, (Cubed)
1 small yellow pepper, (washed and cubed)
1 large tomato (washed and thinly sliced)
1/2 tsp garlic paste,
1 tsp ginger paste,
1-2 green chillies,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
1/4 tsp chilli powder,
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder,
1 tsp sugar,
salt to taste,
fresh coriander and a sprinkle of lemon juice.


1) Heat 1 tbs oil in a large frying pan on a medium to high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add the frozen okra and gently spread the okra evenly in the pan. It is important not to crowd the pan whether you are using fresh or frozen okra.
Now leave in the pan to thaw out for a few minutes on a medium to high heat, but make sure that you turn the okra once to make su

Turn very occasionally until the okra is golden and starting to colour around the edges.

2) Drain onto kitchen paper and set aside.

3) Add the remaining 1/2 tbs oil into the same pan as the okra was fried and heat over a medium heat. once the oil is hot enough, add the mustard seeds, wait for them to pop like popcorn, then add the cumin seeds and the asafoetida (hing).

4) Then add the chopped onion with a pinch of salt and fry until they start to caramelize around the edges.

5) Then add the curry leaves, tomatoes, garlic paste, ginger paste, green chilli, chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder turmeric and cook until the tomatoes turn into a thick paste and and all of the moisture has been cooked away.

6) Add the sugar and the peppers and cook for another minute before adding the okra,

7) Sprinkle over some lemon juice and coriander and mix in. Check the seasonings before you serve and adjust to your taste.

8) Serve with basmati rice and chapati or paratha.

Please enjoy and share your thoughts............Many thanks!!! :-) :-) :-)

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