Okra in India is well known as “Bhindi” (Hindi translation); it is also known to people here as ‘Lady Finger’ and is grown extensively in India. It is versatile in nutrient values, with rich content of dietary fibers, Vitamin A, C and K, anti-oxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron zinc calcium, and beta-carotene.
It eases bowel functions and corrects constipation, controls sugar level. It improves skin texture, vision and strengthens bones. You can enjoy the rich taste of okra, through some okra dishes, prepared in Indian style. Below are few of delicious Bhindi recipes.
1. Pyazwaali Bhindi
It is a North Indian delicacy, tossed with sautéed onions and has low calories and fat.
Ingredients: Two cups of chopped bhindi; one cup of cumin seeds or Jeera, one cup of chopped onion; two tsp. A paste of ginger green chili, a quarter cup of dahi, a pinch of haldi powder, two tsp. Oil and salt to taste.
Method: Put oil in a non-stick pan and heat to crackle them. After adding onions, chili paste, turmeric powder and fry till the onions become golden brown. Then add the chopped bhindi and cook over medium flame. After adding curd and salt, cook for two minutes more
2. Bhindi Achari
Ingredients: Two tsp. Mustard seeds, 250-gram bhindi with the top cut off, one tsp. Jeera, one tsp. Onion seed (kalonji), ten red chilies, one tsp. saunf, a pinch of heeng (asafoetida), quarter cup mustard oil, quarter cup tomato puree, one tsp. Turmeric powder and salt to taste.
Method: Fry the bhindi with two tsp. Oil and keep it aside. After roasting kalonji, mustard seeds, red chili, and saunf, in 1 tsp. of oil, grind them well. Heat the jeera, turmeric, and bhindi by putting rest of the oil on the pan. Add, ground mixture, salt, and tomato puree and simmer till they are mixed well. Keep yourself safe in the kitchen when cooking.
3. Oven-Fried Okra
Ingredients: Take about a pound of okra, trim and cut into slices of about ¾ inch that will make about 3 cups. Half cup yellow cornmeal, half tsp. Ground black pepper, three-quarter tsp. of kosher salt, half cup buttermilk, one large egg, a dash of ground red pepper and salt to taste.
Method: Mix black pepper, red pepper, and salt and keep in a shallow dish and set aside. Combining egg and buttermilk in a large bowl, stir it with a whisk. Allow it to stand for three minutes. Dredge the okra in the cornmeal mixture. Then put the okra on a jelly-roll pan, coated with cooking spray and coat the okra with the cooking spray. Bake for 40 minutes at 4 degrees C and stirring it once. Sprinkle the rest quarter tsp. salt.
4. Bhindi Masala
Ingredients: 20 pc. of tender bhindis, a paste of two tsp. Grated coconut, one cup chopped coriander (Dhania), half cup of chopped and roasted onion, two tsp. Ginger-Green chili, two tsp. Sugar, half tsp. Turmeric powder, one tsp. Coriander-Cumin seeds (dhania-jeera powder), two tsp. Roasted sesame seeds, one tsp. Lemon juice and salt to taste.
Method: Slit the bhindis, lengthwise, and cut them in half, horizontally and stuff each with the prepared paste. Keep it aside. Heat a non-stick kadhai and add the bhindi and the rest paste. Mix well and cook on low flame for 10 minutes, and occasionally stirring, till they become soft.
5. Bhindi Curry
Ingredients: Half kg bhindi, Two tsp. Urad chhilka, quarter cup oil, a bunch of curry leaves, half cup jeera, one tsp. Mustard seeds, haldi, chili powder, chopped onions and dhania powder, one tsp. chopped ginger, half tsp. Amchur, three slit of green chilies, half cup yogurt, two tsp. Grated coconut, dhania patta for garnish and salt to taste.
Method: Deeply fry the urad and dhania, separately and then fry the curry leaves. Keep all three aside. Heat oil; add mustard seeds, chili and dhania powder, jeera and haldi. Add onion and ginger and cook until the onions are soft.
6. Dahi Bhindi
Ingredients: Four cups of bhindi, chopped into pieces of one and a half inch. One tsp. Jeera, one tsp. Mustard seeds, two whole dry Kashmiri chilies, broken into pieces, half cup chopped onions, one cup chopped tomatoes, quarter tsp. Chili powder, half tsp. haldi, quarter cup low-fat dahi, one tsp. Oil, quarter tsp. Salt, All the above, are to be ground into a paste; 1 tsp. Grated coconut, one tsp. Broken cashew, three tsp. of beaten rice (poha); roasted.
Method: Take two tsp. of oil in a non-stick pan and sauté the bhindi till it is fully cooked. After removing, drain on absorbent pape. Put the remaining oil in the same pan; heat it after adding mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and urad daal. When it starts crackling, add the red chilies and fry for few minutes. Then, add sauté and onion till it becomes golden brown. After that, add tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder and the ground paste and simmer it for a while. In the meantime, add one and quarter cups of water to the yogurt and whisk it well. Then, add this to the pan and boil it. Finally, add the sautéed bhindi and simmer it for five minutes.
7. Bhindi and Oats Sabjee
Ingredients: 250 grams of bhindi; sliced diagonally, Two tsp. of oil, Two tsp. Puff oats, half tsp. of cumin seeds, 10 pieces of curry leaves, one medium chopped onion, half tsp. Turmeric powder, one tsp. Red chili powder, one tsp. Amchur powder and salt to taste.
Method: After putting oil in a non-stick pan, put cumin seeds and suite and heat till fragrance. Add onion, curry leaves and sauté. Add the chopped bhindi and mix well. Then, add turmeric powder, red chili powder amchur and saute for five minutes. Finally, add oats and mix it well and cook for two minutes. Transfer it to a serving bowl.
These recipes would make a great addition to your family meal plan. Lots of other seasonal vegetables like plums, pumpkins, potatoes, and apricots to combine well with Okra (Bhindi.)