How to Make Bhindi
This is a fairly simple dish but if you are making okra this style for the first time here, are a few things to consider:
- Cutting okra is very time-consuming. There is no shame in using cut, frozen okra that you can sometimes find at the grocery store. You may want to thaw it before frying, noting that the cooking time will vary if you use frozen okra.
- I used a carbon steel wok to prepare the okra. I personally find it easier to use a rounded pan because I find that the oil goes further, allowing me to reuse it for the tomato-onion base.
- It took me about 10 minutes to fry the okra on medium heat till it stopped being sticky. Some people like to continue to fry the okra till it becomes a deep forest green. For me, it was more important that the okra was cooked enough to stop sticking but retained its shape. How long it will take depends on both the okra and the pan.
- I know it can get confusing when we say 1 onion or 2 tomatoes given that there is wide variation in sizes. The important thing to remember is the proportion – the onion and tomato should be roughly the same weight/volume, half of that of the okra so 1:1:2 (onion: tomato: okra).
- ½ cup oil canola/vegetable/sunflower
- 1 lb okra thinly sliced crosswise
- 1 medium-sized onion thinly sliced in half rings
- 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder preferably Kashmiri
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 4 roma tomatoes roughly diced
- Salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder for dusting
Heat oil. Fry okra on medium heat till it stops being sticky, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Remove okra with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
Reheat oil and add onion. Fry on medium-low heat till translucent and soft, about 7 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic paste, and fry 30 seconds – 1 minute.
Add ground spices (red chili, turmeric and cumin powder), and fry 30 seconds – 1 minute till aromatic. Add a splash of water to deglaze the pan if needed.
Add tomatoes and fry on high heat for about 5 minutes till they begin to soften and break down. Add salt.
Once the masala is ready, add fried okra and stir gently on medium-low heat till well-mixed, about 2-3 minutes.
Place in serving dish and dust with garam masala powder.
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