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Showing posts with label Bhindi/Okra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bhindi/Okra. Show all posts

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Kheema Bhindi ( Okra Stuffed with Spicy Chicken Mince ) (Ramadan Special)

The holy month of Ramadan has commenced and the hogging fever has kicked in with full frenzy. Looking at the luscious photographs on social media, I cannot help feeling nostalgic about my Hyderabad days. Haleem and Biryani topped the list as did a plethora of butter/ghee dripping chicken dishes. But having crossed the threshold of thirty, one needs to deal with the stark reality of a slower metabolism. The days of carefree hogging have been left behind and a smart diet is now my prime focus area.

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

Others -
  • 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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Marwadi Bhindi ( or Besanwali Bhindi )

Bhindi or Okra is one of the most versatile vegetables. Available throughout the year and easy to prepare, it is omnipresent in our lunch/dinner menu. From a plain stir fried version to a more dressy stuffed one and even as a sweet-sour gravy, we love it in all forms. But during fasting days, I get into a quandary as most of our odia recipes use garlic along with Bhindi. That's one of the reasons why I am always on the lookout for 'no onion no garlic' recipes.

Surfing through the net, I chanced upon this easy fried Okra recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor. The fragrant chick peas flour and spices coat the okra and form a thick layer of powdery deliciousness over the crisp veggies. It was a hit with the family and I ended up making it three times within the span of five days.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - 

  • 15 medium sized okra
  • 4 tbsp besan or  chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp amchur
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2-3 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp ghee 
  • salt to taste
  • lemon juice for garnishing
  • cilantro for garnishing

Preparation - Cut the okra into diagonal pieces.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet. 

Add the okra and fry till crisp. Remove and keep aside.

In the same skillet, add the ghee. Add the besan and fry till fragrant. 

Add the coriander, amchur, chili powder, turmeric and garam masala. Fry for 30 seconds.

Add the okra, sprinkle a few teaspoons of water and fry till the vegetables are evenly coated. Remove from the skillet.

Garnish with lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Serve immediately .

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The 15 Minute Meals Series - Post 1

Whether it is beating the morning rush or making more time for one self, 15 min meals can come handy on more than one occasions. Especially when one does not want to order from outside or reheat the Ready to Eat stuff. With a little amount of planning the previous night, one can easily prepare a tasty and nutritious meal like the one shown below.

For this post, I have put together a thali that consists of white rice, pulihora, fried okra, eggplant in yogurt and wholesome tikkis made with cracked wheat(daliya) and sweet potato. Read on how this can be done in 15 mins -

1. Overnight preparation -  Roast the cracked wheat. Peel and dice the sweet potato. Cook together in a pressure cooker with just enough water for 3 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Additionally, one can also peel the garlic and chop the onions, cilantro and green chilis.

2. Cooking rice and chopping veggies - While the rice is getting ready in a pressure cooker or rice cooker (takes abt 8 mins), slice the aubergines and slit the okra. Sprinkle salt on the veggies.

Take some of that boiled sweet potato and daliya mixture, add chopped green chili, onion, salt, garam masala and cilantro. Mash together and shape into tikkis (flat discs) .

Crush a few garlic pods with red chili powder and a pinch of salt. Rub it on the insides and all over the slit okras.

Take the yogurt in a bowl. Add salt and beat it.

3. Take a large skillet. Drizzle with oil. Place the tikkis on one side, the salted aubergines on another and finally the okras in the remaining space. Cooking everything together saves time hence use a cookware that is large enough to accommodate all three.

Heat another wok. Add some oil followed by mustard, green chili, asafoetida and curry leaves tempering. Remove some of it and add to the yogurt bowl. Throw in a few peanuts into the wok. Once they crackle, add tamarind water, jaggery and pulihora powder. Cook for 2 mins before adding the rice. Stir fry for 2-3 mins and pulihora is done.

By this time the tikkis and veggies would also be done. Allow the aubergines to cool for 4-5 mins before adding into the tempered yogurt.

Your delicious meal is ready !!

Have 5 extra mins at hand ?? Take some of that remaining sweet potato and cracked wheat mixture into a thick bottomed vessel. Add a little milk, sugar and ghee. Flavor with cardamom powder or saffron. Cook on medium flame for 4-5 mins for a delicious and very nutritious halwa !

If you looking for any specific recipe, please leave a comment on my blog or FB page and I will be happy to respond :) !

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kurkuri Bhindi

I have been quite occupied over the last week doing cleaning, rearranging furniture and other household activities. That left me very less time to cook lunch for myself. Hence I would mostly end up doing simple stir-fries (bhaji) which even my kid liked to have with his khichidi . The only day I made rice and dal for lunch, I only had about a dozen ladies fingers sitting in the fridge. As I had cleaned out the fridge the previous day, I did not get time to stock up on the veggies. Being in the mood for something chatpata, I quickly decided to make some crispy ladies finger fries. Even my son is fond of this vegetable so i first marinated it with minimum spice/heat. Keeping aside some of the fries, I drizzled mine with more chilli powder and amchur. Totally lip-smacking dish.

While Kurkuri Bhindi is actually a Rajasthani recipe which is much more flavorsome, mine is just a simplified version of it. Read on for this simple recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 12-14 ladies fingers/okra
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp amchur/chaat masala
  • 1 tsp besan
  • 1/2 tsp rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying
  • 2 pinch black pepper powder (my special addition)

Preparation - Slit the ladies finger lengthwise and cut into smaller 2 inch long sections ( mine were small so i kept it as such ).

Sprinkle all the spices/masalas over the ladies finger and toss together to coat evenly. Keep aside for 10 mins.

Add the besan and rice flour and mix once again.

Cooking - Heat sufficient oil in wok or deep vessel. Add the ladies finger in batches and fry till they become crispy.

Serve hot as it is or garnished with lemon juice, coriander leaves and tomato slices.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Bhendi Amba Khatta

Usually 'Ambula' or 'dried green mangoes' is the preferred ingredient for adding a touch of tang to this simple and tasty dish. But since green mangoes are plentifully available, i decided to save up on my ambula stock and use some green mango this time. And since some of our South Indian friends find the all out mustard-garlic flavoring a bit too overpowering, I also added a few slices of fresh coconut to the mustard paste to sweeten it a bit and turn down the heat.

The result was a sweet and tangy gravy that became the high point of my lunch. Had it with white rice and dal. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time : 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 200 gm Ladies finger/bhendi
  • 3-4 thin slices of green mango
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 red chili
  • 3-4 flakes of garlic
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh coconut
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • a pinch of fenugreek for tempering
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation: Wash the ladies finger and cut across the section into 1.5 inch sized pieces (do not slit it along the length).

Keep aside a few mustard seeds and one pod of garlic for the tempering. Grind the mustard seeds and remaining garlic pods along with the coconut and green chili into a fine paste.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp oil in a deep vessel and fry the ladiesfinger pieces till the stickiness goes away.
Remove from vessel and keep aside.

Add another tsp oil. When it starts smoking, add the broken red chili, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves and crushed garlic pod to the spluttering seeds.

Add the green mango slices and cook on high for 2-3 mins.

Add the mustard-coconut-garlic paste along with 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil and add the fried ladies finger pieces along with turmeric powder, sugar and salt to taste.

Allow the curry to boil for 5 mins or till the ladies finger becomes soft. Remove from the fire and serve with rice.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Besara ( Vegetables in a light mustard gravy )

Besara is an authentic oriya dish that is light and spicy, all at the same time. It is part of the abhada or the prasad offered to Lord Jaganaath during midday. While the former does not make use of any onion or garlic, I have been generous with garlic in my version.

Also i have skipped ambula in favour of tamarind as the latter adds a lovely color to the dish. This is one recipe which my South Indian friends would really enjoy (Most of them find the Oriya vegetarian fare stuff a little bland). Read on:

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - 1 cup diced pumpkin, 1 cup diced eggplant, 1 cup sliced potato, 1/2 cup diced pointed gourd,1/2 cup chopped okra, 2 medium sized tomatoes, 4 slit green chillis, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 4 tsp oil, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 2 dried mangoes slices ( ambula ) or 1 tsp tamarind paste.

For the mustard paste - 2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 7 garlic flakes, 1 red chilli.

Preparation - Dry grind the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chilli. Add the garlic flakes and a little water at a time. Grind into a smooth paste.

Add 1/2 cup of water and allow to stand.

Soak the ambula in 1/2 cup water . Or if using tamarind paste dilute it with 1/2 cup water.

Cooking - Heat 3 tsp of oil in a wok. Add the chopped okra and fry on a high flame for 2-3 mins. Add pumpkin, potato, eggplant and pointed gourd. Fry on medium to high flame for 3 minutes. Remove from wok and keep aside.

Add 1 tsp of oil to the wok and add the tomatoes. Fry for 2-3 minutes till soft. Remove and keep aside.

Add 4-5 cups of water to the wok. Add the mustard paste ( drain the cup slowly into the wok so that the sediments settle down in the bottom of the wok. This removes the bitterness of the mustard seeds. ), salt and turmeric.

Bring the water to a boil and then add the fried vegetables. Once the vegetables are almost done, add the fried tomatoes. Boil for 8-10 minutes or till veggies are a little mushy.

Add the ambula/tamarind and slit green chillis. Boil for 3-4 minutes.

Remove from wok and serve hot with white rice . ( Garnish with coriander leaves/fried boris if desired )

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bhendi (Dahi) kanji (Bhindi kadhi)

A super light and easy to prepare dish for those days when one is feeling lazy or the stomach cries out for some rest. This one does not compromise on taste though !! Best when prepared with day old curd, the original recipe (my Mom's) does not call for the use of a thickening agent like besan. Rather it is something I added to give some texture and more taste to the gravy.

It goes very well with plain white rice and maybe some papad to go with it !!  I prefer to have it with rotis too though few folks do not like the kadhi-roti combination. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup Chopped okra/bhindi 
  • 100 ml curd
  • 1 1/2 tsp besan/gramflour
  • 1-2 dry red chilli 
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 2 pinch asafoetida/hing ( 2 pinch )
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 2 pinch turmeric 
  • 3 tsp oil

Preparation: Mix the curd with the besan in a bowl. Add about 3 cups of water and salt to taste. Mix well.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok. Add the okra along with salt and turmeric. Fry till the okra is just cooked and still a little crunchy.

Lower the flame and sprinkle a few drops of water to cool the wok. Now add the besan-curd mixture slowly and stir continuously for 3-4 minutes. Increase the flame amd bring to a boil.

Heat the remaining oil in another pan. Add broken red chilli, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds followed by the crushed garlic flakes.

Once the seeds start to splutter, add the asafoetida and curry leaves and remove from flame.

Pour the tempering mixture over the contents of the wok. Switch off the flame and cover with a lid to retain the aroma.

Serve hot/cold with white rice.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Alu bhendi Bhaja/Charchadi

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 15-20 rupees

Ingredients: Ladiesfinger(bhendi) (200 gm), Alu(potato) ( 1 no., large ), green chilli (1-2 no.), cumin seeds (1/4 tsp), mustard seeds (1/5 tsp), turmeric powder(1/4 tsp), mustard oil ( 2 tsp ), salt to taste.

For the mustard garlic paste: mustard seeds (1 tsp), garlic cloves ( 4-5 nos).

Preparation: Wash the ladiesfinger and cut into small pieces . Cut the potatoes into smaller pieces than the ladies finger so that they get cooked in the same time.

Grind the mustard seeds and remaining garlic pods into a fine paste.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp oil in a deep vessel and add the broken green chilli, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Add the potatoes and ladiesfinger to the spluttering seeds.

Fry the ladiesfinger and potato pieces on a high flame for 3-4 mins.

Mix the garlic-mustard paste with 1/3 cup of water and add to the wok. Add salt and turmeric and close with a lid.

Cook till water evaporates and veggies are cooked. Sprinkle a little mustard oil towards the end (options).

Remove from wok and serve with rice/rotis/parathas.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gota Bhendi Bhaja ( Stuffed Okra )

Cost of Preparation: 30-35 Rupees
Preparation Time: 10-15 mins

Ingredients: Ladiesfinger/Okra/bhendi ( 8-10 nos ), green chillis ( 2 nos ), garlic
cloves ( 4-5 nos ), mustard seeds ( 1 tsp ), poppy (posta seeds, 1 tsp ), roasted cumin powder ( 1/5 tsp ), turmeric ( 1 pinch ), mustard oil ( 2-3 tsp), dry red chilli ( 2 nos ), salt.

Preparation: Wash the ladies finger and make slits along its length. Cut the green
chillis into small pieces.

Grind the mustard & poppy seeds, and garlic cloves into a smooth paste.

Cooking: Heat a pan. Add 1/2 tsp oil followed by the green chillis and turmeric. Stir for 30 seconds followed by the mustard-poppy-garlic paste and cumin powder.

Cook for 2-3 mins. Remove from pan and keep aside to cool down a bit.

Stuff the paste into the slit ladiesfinger. Keep aside for 10-15 mins.

Heat 1 1/2 oil in a pan. Add the red chillis followed by the ladiesfinger and stir fry for 8-10 mins.

Serve with white rice and dal.

Note: Usually the ladies finger is stuffed with a mustard-garlic paste, which can be a bit too spicy if one is not used to mustard paste. Hence i have added the poppy to reduce the spiciness.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dahi Bhendi

Cooking Time Required: 10-15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 30-35 Rupees

Ingredients: Bhindi/ladies finger (250 gm ), yogurt/dahi ( 1 cup ), mustard cumin paste ( 1 tsp), green chilli/red chilli ( 3 nos ), curry leaves ( 3-4 sprigs ), pancha-phutana ( 1/3 tsp), asafoetida/hing ( 2 pinches), salt, turmeric, oil ( 3-4 tsp).

Preparation: Wash and cut the bhindi into inch long pieces. Add 3/4 tsp mustard-cumin paste, turmeric and salt. Mix togather and keep aside for 30 mins.

Transfer the yogurt to a mixing bowl. Beat for 1 min. Add salt, 1/4 tsp mustard-cumin paste and 2 cups water and mix well.

Cooking: Heat 3 tsp of oil in a pan. Add the ladies finger and fry lightly till cooked. Keep asiRemove from pan and keep aside to cool down a bit.

Add the remaining oil to pan. Add pancha-phutana, curry leaves, asafoetida and slit red/green chillis. Pour the spluttering mixture over the yogurt and also add the fried bhindi.

Mix togather and serve with either rice/rotis as a side dish.

Note: The mustard cumin paste has the mustard and cumin in 4:1 ratio. One can decrease the mustard proportion if one wants to reduce the spiciness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pithau dia Bhendi Bhajja

Cooking Time Required : 15 mins
Cost of preparation: 20-25 rupees

Ingredients: Bhendi ( 250 gms), pithau ( 2 tsp), mustard seeds ( 1/3 tsp), red chilli ( 2-3 nos), turmeric (1/5 tsp), cumin powder ( 1/3 tsp), oil ( 2-3 tsp), salt.

Preparation: Wash the bhendi and cut into thin slices. Add the salt, turmeric, cumin powder and pithau. Mix thouroughly.

To prepare the pithau, soak the rice for 2-3 hours. Grind into a fine paste. (Instead of adding cumin powder, one can also grind cumin seeds along with the rice ).

Cooking: Heat a pan. Add the oil. When it starts smoking, add the mustard seeds and red chillis. When the seeds start spluttering, add the bhindi. Spread into a thin layer. Keep stirring at an interval of few minutes. Allow to cook till crispy.

Serve hot with rice and dal/dalma.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pariba Kanji

Cooking Time Required: 20 mins
Cost of preparation: 20-25 rupees

Ingredients: Green Papaya (100 gms), brinjal (100 gm), tomato ( 100 gm), saru ( 50 gm), rice ( 2 tsp), ambula ( 3-4 pieces), pancha phutana ( 1 tsp), garlic pods ( 6-7 pieces ), curry leaves ( 6-7 nos), red chilli ( 1 no.), green chilli ( 1 no), oil, turmeric ( 1 tsp), salt to taste.

Preparation: Soak the rice for 1-2 hours. Grind into a fine paste and keep aside. Soak the ambula pieces for 2-3 hours. Crush the garlic pods.

Cooking: Cut the vegetables into medium sized pieces. Fill the pressure cooker with
sufficient water. Add the cut vegetables along with green chilli, turmeric and salt. Close the lid and put the cooker on the stove. Allow it to cook for 3-4 whistles.

Put a wok on the stove. Transfer the contents of the pressure cooker into the wok. Bring to a boil. Add the rice paste to thicken the stock , stirring the mixture continously all the while. Then add the ambula pieces. Allow to boil for 10-12 mins.

Heat a pan. Pour 1 tsp of oil on it. Allow to smoke. Add the pancha phutana, red chilli, crushed garlic pods and curry leaves. Stir gently for 1 minute. Remove the contents from the pan and pour it over the boiling stock. Remove from fire and serve with rice and dal.

Tips: One can also add sweet pumpkin and ladiesfinger pieces to this preparation. Stir fry the ladies finger pieces before adding to the rest of the vegetables. This takes care of the slimy content of the ladiesfinger.

Additional info - Kanjee is to the oriya people what rasam is to south indians. Its a tangy preparation with adds spice to the usually plain (some would term it as bland) oriya meals.It is popularly served during the summer months to keep the body cool .

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bhendi Sorisha Khatta

Cooking Time Required: 15 mins
Cost of Preparation: 15-20 rupees

Ingredients: Ladiesfinger(bhendi) (200 gm), green chilli (1 no.), curry leaves (5-6 nos), garlic (5 pods), coriander seeds (1/4 tsp), mustard seeds (2 tsp), lemon (1 no), turmeric powder(1/4 tsp), oil, salt to taste.

Preparation: Wash the ladiesfinger and cut across the section into 1.5 inch sized pieces (do not slit it along the length). Keep aside a few mustard seeds and one pod of garlic for the tempering. Grind the mustard seeds and remaining garlic pods into a fine paste.

Cooking: Heat 2 tsp oil in a deep vessel and fry the ladiesfinger pieces till the stickiness goes away.
Remove from vessel and keep aside. Add another tsp oil. When it starts smoking, add the coriander and mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves, green chilli and garlic pod to the spluttering seeds. Stir for about a min and add the mustard-garlic paste along with 1 cup of water. Bring it to a boil and add the fried ladiesfinger pieces along with turmeric powder and salt to taste. Allow the curry to boil for 5 mins or till the ladiesfinger becomes soft. Then squeeze the lemon over it and cook for another 30 secs. Remove from the fire and serve with rice.

Tips: The lemon can also be substituted with tamarind (tentuli/imli) or dried mango pieces (ambula). Boil the curry for an additional 5-7 mins for the sour taste to get imbibed.

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