Bhindi (okra) with a generous mix of onions and Indian spices – a lovely vegetable dish to go with chapatis.
- Okra – 250 grams
- Onions – 2 large
- Tomatoes – 1
- Ginger – 1/2 inch piece, crushed
- Garlic – 4 cloves, minced
- Green chilies – 2, slit vertically
- Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
- Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
- Garam masala – a pinch
- Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
- Coriander leaves – a few sprigs
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Vegetable Oil – 2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon
- Salt – to taste
Wash and pat the okra completely dry. Cut into 1.5-inch pieces.
Slice the onions and tomatoes into thin strips.
The cooking has two independent parts – the bhindi and the masala – that are brought together towards the end. I do some “parallel processing” at this stage. Put two non-stick pans on the fire at one go - pan A with 2 teaspoons of oil (for the masala) and pan B with 1 teaspoon of oil (for the okra). Cook both simultaneously. (There is no penalty for cooking them in sequence, but why not save some time?)
Pan A: The Masala
When the oil turns hot splutter cumin seeds, then add crushed ginger and garlic. After 30 seconds, add onion strips. Cook on medium-high flame till the onion slices turn golden-brown. Sprinkle coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder and mix. Cook for a min, taking care not to let the masala get burnt (add a few more drops of oil if needed). Next add tomato strips and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium-high flame.
Pan B: The Bhindi
When the oil turns hot slide in the okra (bhindi) pieces. Cook on medium flame, covered, for 7-8 mins, turning occasionally. Uncover and cook till the okra pieces turn crisp and dry (around 5mins).
Sprinkle turmeric powder and salt, mix. Switch off the heat and wait for the ingredients in pan A to get cooked.
Turn the contents pan A into pan B. Cook on medium-high flame for around 5 minutes, so that the masalas mix well with the okra.
Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala powder, mix and switch off the heat.
Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over bhindi do pyaza. Serve with chapatis, dal, yogurt and salad.
For a quicker okra recipe, try bhindi masala.