Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bollywood Bhindi Masala

I'm not saying this Bhindi Masala from the goddess of Indian vegetarian cooking Manjula Jain will have you dancing and singing like Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai (to see her in action check out the video below the recipe. One word: AWESOME!!), but once your brain is suffused with the unbelievably heady aromas as you cook this dry curry okra side dish, and your tastebuds are made giddy by its intense flavorings I take no responsibility for unusual dance moves around your dinner table! Okra should be in abundance at your farmers and produce markets right now, so take full advantage....and be prepared!
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Bhindi Masala (Spicy Okra)
from Manuula Jain
serves 2 to 3
Click on Manjula's link above to see a video of her preparation of this dish. And also to watch her excruciatingly slow dissection of the okra. Hey, I said she was a goddess, I didn't say she was perfect!- bb

1/2 lb okra (bhindi)
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
Pinch of asafetida (hing)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor)
1 tablespoon gram flour (besan) (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper

Wash the okra and pat dry. Make sure to completely dry the okra as wet okra will be sticky when cutting. Cut off the both ends of the okra, and slice lengthwise in halves. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Test the heat by adding one cummin seed to the oil; if seed crack right away oil is ready. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida (hing). When the cumin seeds crack, add the okra. Stir for a minute and reduce the heat to medium. Cover the okra for two to three minutes.

Remove the cover and add the coriander powder, red cayenne pepper and turmeric. Next add gram flour (besan) and continue to stir-fry until the okra is tender. Add the salt, mango powder and bell peppers, cook for another minute. Salt is added last to avoid the okra becoming lacy.

1. Adding colorful bell pepper is a great garnish for the okra and adds flavor to the dish (a must in my book for its color, flavor, and texture- bb).
2. You can substitute the bell pepper with sliced tomatoes as a garnish.
3. You can also slice the okra in 1/4 inch pieces and follow the same method above.

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one year ago today @ E.D.T.: There aren't many things I insist you make. This Hazelnut and Wild Mushroom Soup is one of them!!

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