I remember, how I used to hate this vegetable when I was a kid, because mum used to give us boiled bhindi insisting that it’s good for our bones and the brains (not that it made a difference in my maths paper!). She would tell us tales that the lady’s finger will also make us beautiful; it seems the world’s most beautiful woman Cleopatra used to insist on okras in her diet. Young then carried away by these stories(mom’s tricks always work) , I faithfully ate this vegetable whenever mom prepared it, from then on the okra stuck on to my diet and to eat I had to love it.
I try to experiment different ways of making it. This slender vegetable is common in all houses across but the style, in which it is cooked, is always different and innovative. In the South this is called Vendakai; we mainly make it with coconut and green chillies and a little seasoning. My journey from the south to the western Mumbai and now to the north has had me taste the different preparations of this vegetable. Some just boil it with salt and pepper (like mum’s health diet), stuffed bhindi, crispy fry, stir-fry …and so on the options are limited only by your imagination, I guess, so keep experimenting!
This recipe is the simplest because it is made without anything exotic; the absence of too many vegetables and spices is a welcome change. Just the presence of the tangy taste of the dry mango powder is what makes it perfect. My now favourite, Bhindi sukha fry, which goes very well with rotis or dal and rice!
– 500gms tender bhindi/lady’s finger/okra, chopped into small pieces or one cm long.
– 2 tsp red chilli powder
– ½ tsp garam masala/whole spice powder
– ½ tsp amchoor powder(dry mango powder)/1 tsp lemon juice
– 1 tsp cumin seeds
– 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
– ½ tsp coriander powder
– Salt to taste
– 3 tbsp oil
- Wash and pat dry the bhindi.
- Heat oil in a pan, when hot, add cumin seeds.
- When they splutter add the bhindi, now over the bhindi add the garam masala(whole spice powder), turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, amchoor powder(dry mango powder)/ lemon juice and salt.
- Mix well so that all the masalas get evenly spread over the bhindi. Cover and cook on low flame for few minutes till the okra/bhindi is tender and cooked, stir occasionally.(If required more dry and crisp, add little extra oil and stir fry on high flame for longer time).
- Serve hot with rotis or dal and rice.
Prep Time:30 Minutes
Cook Time:30 Minutes