Okra or Bhindi, the slimy vegetable that many people dislike, it just so happens that I “heart” this vegetable. It will easily go to the top of the list of my favorite vegetables. Well, I am strange that way – love okra, love bitter gourd (that most people just cannot stand!) and love eggplants! One thing that is close to hating, if at all you can call it that, is mushrooms, especially the button / white mushrooms. I find it difficult to stand the chewiness of it – its a texture issue, nothing to do with the taste, whatsoever. Portobello and shitake if cooked well, I like them, eventhough not love them. But still if mushroom is all that is there to eat, I can do that, just that there is no love here.
My love for okra could be that it was a staple vegetable while growing up and amma used to make a nice and crispy stir fry with just salt and red chilli powder and my-oh-my, that tasted soo good with some curd rice. Talking about curd rice and growing up eating okra, I was reminded of a blog post I read a really long time ago, What not to do with a Tam brahm (if you have some background of tam brahms (a community in South India) or know any, this becomes even more hilarious). See now you know why I love okra, its in my genes!
So anyway, Okra is not only a South Indian favorite, many parts of Northern India also serve this vegetable. Bhindi Masala is one popular version of it. Actually do I know any other non-South Indian version of preparing okra? hmm I’ll have to think about that. So, for now here is the recipe of this delicious bhindi masala which is good paired with some plain tadka dal and rice or chapatis.
Bhindi Masala / Okra Masala – The Recipe
- Okra / Bhindi – 10-12, top removed and cut diagonally
- Red Onion – 1/2, sliced
- Tomato – 1, sliced
- Canola Oil – 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red Chilli Powder / Cayenne – 1 to 2 tsp
- Garam Masala (optional) – 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saute pan. Add the onions to it and saute till they turn lightly brown and some of them are caramlised a little, this gives the okra masala a sweet taste to it. Now add the tomatoes to it and saute to 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the turmeric powder, cayenne and garam masala to it. Mix well.
Add the okra to the pan as well and some salt. Increase the heat to medium high. Saute till the okras become soft. You can sprinkle some water to help the okras become soft or if the onions and tomatoes are browning more than needed.
Serve hot with some dal as a side for rice or chapatis!