Showing posts with label bhindi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bhindi. Show all posts

Apr 5, 2017

Nepali Style Okra (Bhindi Tareko)

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Tantalize your tastebuds with this simple spicy okra dish from Nepal! Sliced okra is first flash-fried to banish any trace of slime. The pods are rendered crisp, delightfully chewy, and infused with the warmth of cumin, coriander, and chilis. Try this quick and easy vegan recipe to get a healthy serving of vegetables with any meal. 

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Nepalis do a lot of simple stir-frys like this. Be it potatoes, lab lab beans, or even chayote. If you see tareko on the menu at any casual eatery in Nepal you can be sure it will be a lightly spiced, fresh, and tasty vegetable side prepared this way. My maid showed me how to make this bhindi tareko or fried okra recipe that she makes quite often at home. It's the easiest, fastest, and most delicious okra dish that even my mutton-crazed Kashmiri family loves. Since this dish has a crisp and chewy texture it's a great way to use those okra pods that are a little past the petite and tender stage and are a bit large and fibrous. We enjoy this as a side dish with rice or rotis. If you're doing the low-carb thing I could see this as a delicious accompaniment to a garam masala spiced grilled chicken breast.

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To minimize the dreaded slime that can accompany okra dishes it is advised that the pods be completely dry before slicing. I do this by rinsing them vigorously in a colander and then setting them out in full sun in the backyard to dry outside for at least two hours. It seems to help if the okra gets a little wilty before cutting too. Frying the sliced okra in salted and smoking hot oil really gets rid of any residual stickiness. After about ten minutes of frying any and all slime is absolutely gone. Do not cover the okra while cooking as steam seems to perpetuate sliminess also. Using a shallow, wide pan like a skillet so that the okra can be spread in a single layer help to achieve the crispy edges and aid in slime reduction too. Utilizing a pan with a non-stick finish will allow you to use considerably less oil if desired also. That's all the okra cooking tips I've learned over the years so now it's off to the recipe!

Ingredients:
1/2kg/1lb okra, tops and tails removed and sliced into scant half inch rounds
3 TBS cooking oil (or just enough to cover the bottom of your cooking vessel)
2-3 dry red chilis/lal mirch broken in half (omit for less heat)
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2 tsp ginger/adrakh paste
2 tsp ground cumin/jeera
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi

Here's what to do-
1) Heat oil in skillet or kadhai with one teaspoon salt for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and broken red chilis and fry for half a minute.

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2) Add chopped okra and stir well to coat all pieces with oil. Allow to fry for 5 minutes uncovered.

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3) Add 1 teaspoon salt, garlic paste, ginger paste, ground cumin, ground coriander, and turmeric to frying okra and stir well.

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4) Fry for 5-7 minutes more or until the okra becomes crisp. (Don't worry if the okra seems a bit slimy, after about 10 minutes of frying the slime completely disappears.) Salt to taste and serve as an accompaniment to rice or rotis.
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Helpful Hints:
You might wish to retrieve the dried red chilis from the dish right before serving. This will minimize the risk of anyone biting into a random fiery hot bit of chili while enjoying their okra. Nepalis and Kashmiris would not remove the chili bits before serving but might toss them aside on their plate when served.

May 25, 2016

Dahi Bhindi (Curried Okra with Yogurt)



"Dahi" means yogurt and "bhindi"means okra. This delectable dish combines the two in a velvety and spicy sauce. Zesty kalonji seeds accent the tangy sauce is this recipe giving it an unexpected and added appeal. So easy to make, be sure to try this delicious way to eat okra with rice or rotis. 


Yes, it is okra again because we are a bit between seasons and the Summer veggies aren't quite producing yet. Whatever the weather there's always okra in South Asia! This was a hard dish to style. The cilantro in my garden has bolted in the heat, the mint is still sulking after it's biannual butch, and my Summer crop of marigolds hasn't bloomed yet.  That's a gaillardia flower boldly standing in there. I don't think gaillardias are poisonous but don't eat them as they're a bit stickery. This is one of my favorite ways to eat okra. It's not at all slimy due to the initial stir frying of the okra. The spicy sauce is the perfect pairing with the rather mild flavored okra and the brilliant accent of kalonji seeds give it an unexpected punch. Best of all it's so easy to fix and ready in about twenty minutes!

Ingredients:
1/2kg or 1lb okra, tops and tails removed, sliced into 1 inch lengths
3 TBS cooking oil
1/2 C onions, sliced thinly
1 TBS garlic/lahsun paste
1 TBS ginger/adrak paste
1 tsp nigella/kalonji seeds
Grind or chop finely and mix for masala sauce:
1 C yogurt/dahi
1/2 tsp flour/maida (this will keep the yogurt from splitting)
1/2 C tomatoes, chopped finely
2 tsp ground coriander/djania
2 tsp cumin/jeera
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1/2 tsp paprika plus 1/2 tsp cayenne)
1/2 tsp salt
Here's what to do:
1) Grind or chop finely and mix all ingredients listed for masala suce, set aside. In a heavy bottomed, deep skillet or kadhai heat oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Fry onions until just beginning to brown. Add cumin, nigella/kalonji seeds, garlic paste, and ginger paste to fried onions and cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently.

2) Add chopped okra to fried onion mixture and fry for 4 minutes. 


3) Stir ground masala mixture from step 1 into fried onion and okra mixture. Stir well and bring to simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 C water and stir well.


4) Allow dish to simmer until sauce is to desired thickness and okra is tender, that's usually about 7 to 8 minutes on my stove. Sauce will thicken a bit upon standing. Salt to taste and serves with rice or rotis.

Helpful hints:
Be sure to choose the small, tender okra pods as the larger one tend to be tough and fibrous.

May 1, 2016

Bhindi Fry (Spicy Fried Okra)


Delicately crisp and boldly seasoned this traditional Punjabi style dish makes okra a delicious delight. No stewed slime or goo here, rather the okra is shallow fried until lightly crunchy then simmered to savory perfection with the warm earthy spices so favored in North India. So simple to make and tasty this popular dry sabzi (vegetable) is usually served as an accompaniment to dal and chapattis. 


Whatever the season in South Asia there is always okra. Even during the Monsoon when everything else in the garden has moldered away there's still okra. Therefore okra's pretty much a staple vegetable on the Indian Subcontinent and this is probably the most popular way to serve it. Vegetarian diets can tend to be a bit lacking in textural appeal. Cutting the okra lengthwise and shallow frying it renders it delightfully crisp and chewy.  Certainly quite the contrast to the slimy stews we make out of okra in the West. 



This recipe will only work with fresh okra, frozen will not do for this dish. Be sure to choose small and tender pods as the larger pods can be a bit woody.

Ingredients:
1 lb okra, tops and tails removed and sliced lengthwise
1 onion, chopped into about a 1/2 inch dice
1/4 C cooking oil
3 green chilis/hari mirch, chopped
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2 tsp ginger/ adrak paste
2 tsp ground cumin/jeera
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp Kashmiri mirch
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
1/2 tsp dry ginger/adrak
Juice of 1 lime/nimbu

Here's what to do:
1) Heat oil in kadhai or deep heavy bottomed skillet for 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt to the oil and fry okra until beginning to brown. Remove okra from oil and set aside.


2) In the same oil fry onion until translucent. Add green chilis, garlic and ginger to fried onions, fry for 2 minutes.


3) Add sliced okra, all spices, lime juice, 1 tsp salt,  and 1 TBS water to onion mixture. Stir well and fry until water is almost gone and okra is cooked through.



An interesting aside:
I have been notified that I have been nominated for the "Best Food Blog"  AND "Best New Blog" awards on the  nepaliaustralian blog so get on over there and vote for my blog if you choose at:




Be sure to check out all the other amazing blogs in all the different categories and vote for all your favorites!!! Winners will be announced in May.

Apr 12, 2016

Hyderabadi Bhindi (Curried Okra)

okra cashews coconut hyderabad recipe easy

From the princely state of the Nizams comes this opulent exaltation of the humble vegetable, okra. "Bhindi" means okra or lady's finger in Hindi. Okra is finely sliced and fried to a delicate crisp before being enrobed in a rich, mildly spiced sauce of coconut and cashews. Okra's part in this dish is purely textural, it adds only a contrast in it's crispness to the sumptuous, velvety sauce. Curry leaves, mustard seeds, and coriander add pops of bright flavor while cumin seeds resound with their earthiness resulting in a perfectly balanced dish. This dish typifies Mughal cuisine in it's lavish treatment of a rather mundane vegetable.

I'm not really sure where I got this recipe from, I've been cooking it for so long now. It sounds like another recipe from my long lost copy of Julie Sahni's 1980 cookbook "Classic Indian Cooking." I highly recommend Ms Sahni's book as one of the best written and complete guides to Indian cookery available.


I've embellished upon and substituted so many things due to lack of availability in Nepal that I'm certain this recipe bears little to no resemblance to it's original form. The court of the Nizams would have most likely used dried coconut in the preparation of this dish. We rarely find coconut in any form except canned here in Nepal so I've substituted coconut cream. Curry leaves are a rarity here too so sometimes I stir through a handful of chopped cilantro through at the end of this dish to replicate their green flavor.

Ingredients:
3 C okra/bhindi, caps and tails removed, sliced lengthwise
3 TBS cooking oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 C onion, diced finely
1 tsp mustard/rai seeds
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
12 curry leaves (optional)
Grind until smooth for masala gravy:
2 tomatoes
2 TBS coconut cream
2 TBS yogurt/dahi
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2 tsp ginger/adrak paste
7 cashews/kaju  or 1 TBS poppy seeds/khus khus
1 tsp coriander/dhania, ground
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne powder)
1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi
1 tsp salt


Here's what to do: 
1) Grind all ingredients listed under masala gravy to smooth paste, set aside.


2) Heat oil with 1 tsp salt in heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai for 7 minutes.


3) Place sliced okra in heated oil in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches), fry over medium heat for 8-10 minutes stirring frequently. Remove fried okra when lightly browned from oil and set aside on paper towels to drain.

4) Add diced onion to oil in pan. Fry onion until translucent. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves(if using) and fry for one minute.


5) Add ground masala gravy mix to onion and spice mixture in pan, stir well. Fry for 7 minutes or until oil separates from mixture.


6) Add fried okra to the masala gravy and mix well. Allow to heat through for about 3 minutes, salt to taste and serve.

Helpful hints:
Be sure to choose the small, tender okra pods as the larger one tend to be tough and fibrous.

The frying off of the sliced okra is typical of cuisines of the Indian Subcontinent. It renders the okra crisply textured completely unlike the slimy okra stews found in Western cuisines.


Casual day at the office, gentleman?


An interesting aside:
I have been notified that I have been nominated for the "Best Food Blog"  AND "Best New Blog" awards on the  nepaliaustralian blog so get on over there and vote for my blog if you choose at:




Be sure to check out all the other amazing blogs in all the different categories and vote for all your favorites!!! Winners will be announced in May.

Feb 2, 2016

Tamatar Bhindi (Okra with Tomatoes)

indian recipe east okra tomato curry

"Bhindi" means okra and "tamatar" means tomatoes. Okra is simmered until tender in a rich and spicy tomato sauce in this easy to make dish. Bold with the flavors of Indian spices but mild in heat this recipe pairs well with rice, rotis, or chapattis.

Ingredients:
3 C okra/bhindi (fresh or frozen and thawed), chopped into 1/2 inch rounds
2 onions, sliced thinly into half moons
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
3 TBS cooking oil of your choice
Grind until smooth for masala sauce:
3 tomatoes/tamatar, about 1&1/2 C roughly chopped
2 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or 1 tsp paprika plus 1 tsp cayenne)
2 tsp ground cumin/jeera
2 tsp ground coriander/dhania
1/2 tsp tumeric/haldi
1 tsp salt
1 C water
Here's what to do:
1) Grind all ingredients listed under masala sauce until smooth in mixie, food processor, or blender until smooth. Set aside. (If you don't have a mixie, food processor or blender just chop the tomatoes finely and mix with ground spices.)


2) Heat oil in heavy bottomed skillet or kadhai for 5 minutes. Add onions and fry until beginning to brown. Add garlic and cumin seeds, fry for 2 minutes.


3) Add chopped okra, stir well.


4) Add tomato mixture to fried onions and okra, stir well. Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes uncovered. Stir occasionally, if mixture begins to stick or scorch add another 1/4 C water.


5) Keep simmering until most of liquid has evaporated, okra has cooked to desired tenderness, and oil has separated from the sauce. Salt to taste and serve. 



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