Yet another simple dish with a simple vegetable. Okra/ Lady’s Finger/ Gumbo is either liked or hated. People who dislike Okra cite it’s sliminess. Kadai Bhindi is one recipe which reduces the sliminess by shallow frying the pods. If prepared correctly with patience, this vegetable gives a delightful taste.
20 fresh/ frozen Okra pods * I used fresh, young and tender Okra.
1/2 cup Onion (Diced)
1/2 cup Tomatoes (Blanched and chopped) * Blanching enhances the flavor and color of the tomatoes
1 teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon Amchoor/ Dry Mango powder *If you do not have amchoor, use fresh or bottled lemon jucie or white vinegar. Acidic agents help reduce the sliminess of the Okra
1/2 teaspoon Garam masala powder
2 teaspoons Gram flour/ Besan/ Chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds * I used shahjeera as I like it’s flavor.
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
Salt to taste
Rinse Okra and pat dry completely. Trim off the caps and tips. Cut Okra into bite size pieces.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet. Add Okra and shallow fry without charring.
Now sprinkle the gram flour over the okra and fry further. It has to retain it’s colour and coated with the gram flour. Coating the Okra with gram flour keeps the pod intact and helps reduce sliminess giving a crispy coat. This takes about 6-8 minutes.
DO NOT cover the skillet. Keep the shallow fried Okra seperately.
In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add Cumin and let it crackle. Now add the onions, fry till translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears. Add tomatoes and let it cook till the mixture forms a semi gravy.
Add Turmeric powder, Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Cumin powder and Amchoor powder (or any other acidic substitute) to the semi gravy and mix well. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
Add the shallow fried Okra. Let it cook in the gravy. Add salt and check for doneness.
Throughout, simmer the Okra uncovered and on medium heat. Lot of stirring and mixing is not recommended after adding the Okra to the gravy. Breaking the pods will make the gravy slimy. Lastly, sprinkle Garam masala over the cooked okra. Serve hot.
Young and tender Okra cooks faster than thick and fibrous ones. Adjust timing as per the quality of the Okra.
Serve hot with rice or rotis.