After the stuffed okra recipe weapon I told you about last time, here’s a simple stir-fried okra (bhindi ki sabzi) that makes Alok fall down to his knees. Nooooooooo, I’m dreaming :'( :'( It just makes him take few extra servings, enough to finish the sabzi that I cook extra for his lunch next day. And I’m not jealous of these lady’s fingers, because I love them equally too =)
This kind of dry stir-fried okra (sukhi bhindi sabzi) is cooked more often in Indian households than stuffed okra (bharwan bhindi). It’s one of those sabzis that came first out of my mouth whenever my mom used to ask “what do you want to eat today?” Any other sabzi would be secondary.
What you’ll need for Stir-fried Okra / Bhindi Subzi
Serves 2 okra lovers like us, or 4 normal people
1 lb or ½ kg okra (bhindi), or 4 cups chopped
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
¼ tsp tumeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp cumin seed powder (jeera powder)
2 tsp coriander seed powder (dhaniya powder)
2 tsp red chili powder (lal mirch powder), or to taste
1 tsp fennel seed powder (saunf powder)
1 Tbsp roasted peanut powder (mungfali powder)
1 Tbsp roasted sesame powder (til powder)
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
1 tsp salt + ¼ tsp sugar, or to taste
1. I don’t like to rinse okra under running water; I think it’s wastage of water. Instead, I fill a bowl with water, throw in all the okra, rub to clean them well, and then pick handfuls of okra and place on napkin. Leave okra to dry on napkin for few hours, or wipe each of them dry, but DON’T use wet okra for cooking because that’s why it gets slimy.
|how to clean okra and how to chop okra|
2. Don’t chop one okra at a time unless you have nothing better to do in life. Place few in line, chop and discard their heads and tails together. Then chop/slice okra as thin or thick as you want.
3. Heat oil in pan on medium heat, add cumin seeds, let sizzle. Add turmeric powder in the oil, and throw in all the chopped/sliced okra in the pan. Mix/toss well without breaking/mashing the okra. Cook for 3-4 minutes, mix continuously for even cooking, until it almost starts to get a bright green color.
4. Add all the remaining ingredients, and mix/toss well to coat and cook evenly for 3-4 minutes more, or until all the okra is tender and cooked. Done. We love to have this salty-spicy-tangy-nutty flavored Bhindi ki Sabji with roti and yogurt.
|Bhindi Masala: okra sautéed with onion, tomato, & spices|
This is the simplest and basic form of Bhindi ki Sabzi. You can sauté onions in the beginning and then add okra, or even add tomatoes after Step 3 to make this Bhindi Masala. If you add 2 cups of sliced onions to 4 cups of okra it becomes Bhindi Do Pyaaza. If you sauté diced potatoes and then cook okra, it becomes Bhindi-Aloo. You may skip peanut and sesame powder if you don’t have them on hand, or even add roasted peanuts/roasted sesame seeds for nutty flavors. I don't add garam masala in my regular meals, you can add a pinch of that too.
A basic Bhindi Subzi gives you a chance to experiment with a lot of variations and ingredients. And soon, you won’t even need measurements.
What is one sabzi you and your husband/family loves the most?