We I moved back home after college, my mom and I developed a special tradition of reserving Sunday afternoons for cooking. We would make anything from 3-5 Indian dishes, something that she used to do alone (she’s a rockstar)! One of my long-time favourite Indian dishes was also one of the first ones I learnt how to make- Bhindi Masala. This dish utilizes okra, a serious underdog who doesn’t get nearly enough love from other cuisines, in a classic Indian subjee/subzi/sabji (so many different spelling options I just got overwhelmed and am using them all). This recipe calls for some Indian spices that can be difficult to track down, including amchur (mango powder) and kalongi- I've found that the recipe is still delicious without these, so don't let the spice list deter you if you aren't able to find them all! —boymeetsgirlmeetsfood
4 as a side dish
okra, cut into 1 inch pieces
medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
red onion, finely chopped
fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp each of turmeric, jeera (cumin) powder, coriander powder, amchur (spiced mango powder)
Once the vegetables have all been prepped, heat a glug of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds, jeera and kalongi- the spices should pop away happily if the oil is heated properly.
Let the spices bop around and infuse the oil for about 30 seconds and then add the chopped onion. Sauté until the onions turn soft and translucent.
Next add two of the tomatoes and all of the bhindi. Bhindi is a vegetable that requires minimal stirring- move it around to much and you’re left with a broken down, slimy mess. Once you add the bhindi and tomatoes, cover the pan and let them sit for about five minutes. Then lift lid, and flip (instead of stir) the bhindi- leave the lid off for the remainder of cooking time. Continue to do this for about 15 minutes- the bhindi should have softened but not lost it’s vibrant colour completely.
At this stage add the remaining spices- turmeric, jeera powder, coriander powder, amchur and plenty of cayenne, as well as salt to taste. Stir the bhindi briefly so that the spices are allowed to mix throughout, and then let cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and top with a handful of freshly chopped cilantro.
Serve alongside other Indian dishes- chicken curry, gobi masala, whatever you like- and plenty of rotis or naans! A delicious, vibrant dish that showcases okra in all of it’s (non-slimy) glory!