Is it just me or does a simple change like cutting vegetables in a different shape give a dish a whole new spin?
For dinner last night, before I started chopping up the okra (bhindi) into my usual 1-cm disks, I noticed that some of them were bulging – which means the seeds were big and ripe. I didn’t want those seeds and yet the bhindi good enough to eat. What could be done?
I went for this tiny twist – sliced each bhindi vertically into 4-6 strips, and discarded the big seeds. The end result was a lovely, slightly crisp side dish of spicy okra strips.
Here’s the recipe – especially handy when you want to eat okra Indian-style without the seeds.
- Okra (bhindi) – 500 grams
- Salt – to taste
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
- Cumin powder – 1 teaspoon
- Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
- Asafoetida – 1/4 teaspoon
- Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon
Wash and pat dry the bhindi. The bhindi should be completely dry before it is sliced.
Slice each bhindi vertically into 4 strips (6 for bigger bhindis). Scoop out and throw away the big seeds, if any.
Heat a tablespoon of mustard oil in a wide non-stick pan. Add asafoetida, then slide in the bhindi strips. Cook on medium heat for 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally. Since the bhindi is cut thin, it will be cooked through by now. Sprinkle turmeric, coriander, cumin and red chili powders and mix with a gentle hand so that it coats all the strips evenly.
When the raw color of the turmeric goes away (1-2 mins), sprinkle salt and mix well. Cook for another minute. Serve masaledar okra strips with raita, a simple curry and rice/Indian bread on the side.