Kheema Bhindi ( Okra Stuffed with Spicy Chicken Mince ) (Ramadan Special)
I have always admired the Bengali diet which makes it a point to include veggies and greens even when there is a yummy fish curry or mutton curry on the plate. Since any given person can only eat a certain volume of food, including vegetables reduces the amount of animal protein/fat consumed and hereby the overall calories consumed. Plus one gets a lot of fiber ( it adds bulk and signals the brain that one is full ) and vitamins too. Of course, a lot depends on the preparation method too. For example, lightly sauteing the vegetables or grilling them adds lower calories than what would be added if one curried the same set of vegetables. I will be doing a complete blog post on 'healthy eating' in the near future so watch out this space.
Getting back to the 'Kheema Bhindi' that I prepared as a part of the Ramadan Series, it can be served as a delicious and slightly more healthy starter as compared to the Kheema samosas or the Kheema pops. Okra being a highly fibrous vegetable helps in alleviating constipation, a common complaint when people gorge on oily and meaty dishes. Plus, it is all too easy to cook. For this preparation, pick ones that are tender and large enough to hold a good portion of the kheema.
Read on for the recipe -
For the Chicken Kheema -
- Minced Chicken - 200 gms
- 1/3 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 1 small onion
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1/4 tsp coriander powder
- 1/5 tsp garam masala
- 3 tsp oil
- salt to taste
- 15-16 nos Okra
- 4-5 garlic flakes (thinly sliced)
- onion rings for garnishing
- lemon wedges for garnishing
Preparation - Grind the onion, garlic and ginger into a coarse paste.
Cooking - Heat 3 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add the onion-ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes off.
Add the powdered masalas and saute for 1 min.
Add the chicken kheema and turn up the flame for 2-3 mins. Let it brown a bit.
Once it starts to stick to the bottom, add the chopped tomatoes. Stir fry till the tomatoes are somewhat mushy.
Add very little water, sprinkle salt and close the lid. Cook for 1 whistle.
Once steam has escaped, open the lid. Carefully remove 1-2 tsp of the oil that would have separated. This can be used later to pan fry the okra.
Put the kheema back on the flame and cook it a little more till it just dries out. Leave aside to cool down.
Wash the okras and pat dry. Put a slit along the length and remove the seeds. Stuff about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp kheema into each one.
Heat a pan. Add the oil that one had removed earlier from the kheema. Add the garlic flakes and fry till fragrant. Remove the garlic from the pan.
Place the okras carefully on the pan, sprinkle a tiny bit of salt over them and cook on medium to high flame till just done. The okras should retain a slight crunch.
Remove from the pan. Serve immediately.