Just the sight of this dish makes my family drool! Yes I do believe okra is not a very popular dish thanks to its slimy texture, but please do believe me when I say, that cooked well, taking care to wipe it thoroughly & removing all residual moisture, it makes for a mean & healthy vegetable with lots of health benefits. The main one of these being a low glycemic index of 20, good for controlling blood sugar levels. They say, its ideal for diabetics when raw okra is slit & placed in a glass of water overnight & the water consumed the following morning.
Bhindi Do Pyaza, a fabulous hearty, dairy- free, north Indian dish, is hugely popular amongst Indians the world over. ‘Do Pyaza’ simply means twice the amount of onions as the main vegetable itself, while few also take it to be two kinds of onions (regular & shallots) and that is largely where the drool worthiness of this dish gets doubled! No doubt you have a host of other spices & the flavour of the okra itself to thank, but the generous quantity of sauteed onions & tomatoes definitely add a rich golden brown, thick luscious masala that will later coat your okra so perfectly!
This recipe can be also used to cook potatoes, mixed vegetables, paneer/cottage cheese or even chicken & lamb into a gorgeous main dish that will delight all your guests & family alike. As I always say, you can tweak the spices to your liking & even replace the chilli powder with pepper /cut it out entirely if you prefer.
Also known as lady’s finger, this green vegetable contains a good amount of carotenoids that are said to help in maintaining good vision & good skin. They are also said to contain good quantities of dietary fibre, magnesium, calcium, protein, carbohydrates and vitamin B complex, K & C amongst others. What more can you ask for?
While there are tons & tons of ways to incorporate this vegetable in your daily diet, just as a simple stir fry or by adding it to various coconut curries, yoghurt based curries as well as lentils, I am sharing with you the most popular & indulgent way that I usually prepare it for special meals & weekends.
So, don’t just settle for mediokr-ity, eat wisely !
Recipe for Bhindi Do Pyaza
For the Okra
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 500 grams okra/ bhindi/ lady finger
For the Masala
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 large/2 medium sized onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida (if available)
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder/dhania powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder/jeera powder
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves ) optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
For the Okra:
- Wash the okra well in water & pat each one of them dry on a clean kitchen towel.
- Ensure to remove all the residual water by drying it for 5 minutes in open air.
- Cut the base and stem & chop each okra into 1.5inch pieces.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy bottom saucepan/kadhai.
- Add 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic with skin & fry them lightly for 1 minute until golden. Remove from the pan.
- Add the chopped okra and sauté on medium heat, stirring often till they are nearly fully cooked. Keep stirring off & on until they turn soft, covering for a minute with a lid.
- Keep the sautéed bhindi aside.
For the Masala:
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same pan.
- Add the cumin seeds and pinch of asafoetida(optional) and stir until they splutter.
- Add the sliced onions and fry till they become translucent.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
- Add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander & cumin powders one by one.
- Mix well and saute for a few seconds.
- Add ¼ cup water & mix well. Cover with a lid & cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the sautéed bhindi, crushed kasuri methi on a low flame and mix so that the onion-tomato masala coats the okra well.
- Stir gently to combine well for about 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped coriander leaves & stir them in.
- Remove from heat & pour into a dish.
- Serve with roti or your favourite dal, rice, salad & roasted poppadums.
- Just remember to select the thin long dark-green coloured ones while buying & cut away any parts that look black/worm infested.
- Avoid the thick yellowed ones with cuts/spots on them and the already soft & shrunk ones are no good either.
- While the regular size seeds are definitely edible, avoid the really fat large seeds that truly overpower the taste & texture.
- It is advisable to cook the okra as soon as possible after buying it as it does not stay too well beyond 2-3 days in the refrigerator, reacting unfavourably to moisture.
- Residual water or moisture on the okra is what causes the slimy texture to come through, so ensure to wipe each piece clean & dry.
- Do not add any water to this vegetable while cooking.
- Adding a spoonful of yogurt along with the dry spices adds a good extra tang and flavour to the dish.
Video For Bhindi Do Pyaza