Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Bhindi ki sabzi or stir-fried okra

The first Indian recipe of my blog is dedicated to my favorite vegetable: bhindi (okra or lady's finger in English)! However, as it is not so easy to find them in Europe, let me add that you can use beans (cornetti) or zucchini, or any other vegetable instead.

What you need:

  • 250 g bhindi (or other vegetables)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chilly
  • 1 big onion, finely cut
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp garam masala (or any "curry powder")
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds powder
  • 1tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt 
Wash and cut the bhindi in 1 cm long pieces (cut away the tip and the end of the vegetable), peel the potatoes and cut them in same sized cubes.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the whole spices (cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chilly). This time I also added some "kalo jire", which has a very nice taste, but I don't know it's name in English. If you don't have these seeds you can skip this step, but the dish will lose some flavor. Cumin seeds should be available in Switzerland too, otherwise you can ask my mother, she has some left :). Fry the spices till they start to splutter and then add the finely chopped onion, followed by the minced garlic and ginger. Let it fry until it becomes lightly brown.

Now add the diced potatoes and fry them for 2-3 minutes, then add the bhindi and repeat the process. Bhindi is a bit gluey, but while you cook it it will lose this strange texture. While frying the vegetables add the powder spices and the salt, if you have all the ones I mentioned it's perfect, otherwise you can use any "curry powder" and some chilly powder...that will also do!

Cut the tomatoes in slices or cubes and add them to the vegetables, add half a cup of water at the same time and simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes or till the potatoes are tender. Then simmer it for few minutes without the lid so that it dries up. The texture of the vegetables should be quite dry, this preparation does not have a real "Indian curry" kind of gravy.

I love to have this sabzi with chapatis, but it is also very good with Basmati rice.