Bhindi Masala is a semi gravy side dish from Punjab made with sautéed bhindi (okra) cooked in a spicy masala that goes very well with chapatis, rotis or phulkas.
This is one of my favorite recipe using Bhindi (okra) as you cannot feel the sliminess of the vegetable in any way. At home we like to have this subzi hot and spicy but you can very well adjust the spice levels according to your taste. Its also very easy to pack for kids and adults in lunch boxes as its not loose enough to spill.
Its exam time and with two boys studying in different schools with different timings, I’m having a very difficult time coping up with them and I’m spending more time driving around in the hot sun and studying subjects with them.
Even when I was their age, neither do I remember being stressed out like this nor my mom over me. Back then exams were a breeze, and the time just flew past in anticipation over the arrival of holidays but now even before the holidays begin, my kids start their long tone of “its going to be boring”. I wonder in which decade did this transition take place.
As and by they grow, its becoming more difficult to keep them entertained for some period of time. They get so bored easily, lose interest over activities very quickly and most importantly they abhor any form physical activity and insist on spending their time sitting in front of the computer with their eyes stuck to the monitor playing games and I send out a silent prayer, “God help me, give me patience and energy so that I could sail over these holidays without much tension”.
Before making this bhindi masala curry, make sure that the okra is dry as any moisture content before sautéing would make it squishy which will make the masala slimy. You can also add amchur powder (dry mango powder) while adding the dry masala (spice) powders.
As I did not have it at hand, I added chaat masala powder at the end to pep it up a little. Make sure that you cook the okra at low flame to ensure even and proper cooking.
- Bhindi (Vendakkai / Okra) – 200 gms
- Onion – 1
- Tomato – 2
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 3 tsp
- Red chili powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
- Chaat masala powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)
- Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Wash the bhindi (okra) well and wipe it with a clean kitchen towel or let it air dry completely. There should not be any moisture. Chop the onion and tomatoes finely and keep aside.
- Trim the ends and cut the okra into 1 inch length pieces.
- Heat a pan with 3 tsp oil. Add the okra and sauté over low flame for 8 to 10 mins. Keep turning with a spoon frequently for even cooking on all sides. Transfer to a plate and keep aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the same pan. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle. Add the onions and cook for a minute. Add the ginger garlic paste, mix well and let it cook till the onions turn translucent.
- Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, salt and mix well. The mixture will become dry.
- Sprinkle just a handful of water and let the masala cook over low flame till the raw smell disappears. This should take 2-3 mins.
- Add the sautéed bhindi to the thick gravy. Crush the kasuri methi between your palm and sprinkle it over the gravy. Mix well and let it cook for 2 more mins.
- Take off stove and sprinkle chaat masala powder (if using).
- Serve hot with chapathis / rotis / phulkas.