Spicy Okra (Bhindi) with Yellow Peppers and Onions

I love making this okra dish. It’s one my brother’s favourite dishes and he ensures that it is made at least once a week in the house. He does nothing to help his desire become a reality of course, apart from vocalizing his wants in the kitchen. However, luckily for him, I’m an amazing sister (and it’s ridiculously easy to make, but don’t tell him that). Best served with chapatis and a lot of people eat it with yoghurt too. The good thing about okra is that it can be made in so many ways-I think this is my third okra recipe now! Also, it’s really nutritious.
Check it out, let me know how what you think 🙂

Serves 4:

What we need:
1lb okra
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion sliced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
2 tomato roughly diced
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp amchur (mango powder)
Handful fresh coriander (cilantro)

How we do:

  • Heat oil in pan. Add the cumin seeds. Once they begin to sizzle, add okra, salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida powder. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously on medium heat.
  • Add the onion, yellow pepper and the rest of the spices except amchur. Mix and cook until you see the sticky threads disappear.
  • At this point, add the tomatoes, fresh coriander and amchur and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • When you see the oil has separated from the okra, your dish is ready!
  • BALLE BALLE! Enjoy 🙂

Urad Dal Masala

If you go to an  Indian grocery store you will see that urad dal is available in three types:
1) Whole urad dal which is black
2) Split urad dal which is black and white
3) Split and washed urad dal which is white.

In today’s recipe I used the 3rd type also known as ‘white lentil’. In Indian cuisine it is generally used to make a dry dal masala dish, unlike most dal dishes which are quite liquidy in consistency. I was never the biggest fan of this dish as a kid but I’ve got older I’ve oddly grown to love it. The thing that I love about cooking this dal is that it’s so simple to make-you don’t need a pressure cooker. You won’t find this dish at any Indian restaurant but it’s regularly made in the Sawhney household!  Check out the recipe and try out this authentic dal dish for yourself 🙂

Serves 4

What we need:

For dahl:
250g split washed urad dal (white in colour)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
For Masala:
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida powder (hing)
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp ginger, grated
2 large fresh tomatoes
1 tsp tomato puree
4 mushrooms, diced (optional)
1/2 green or red chilli, finely diced (optional)
1/2 cup of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam maslala
Pinch paprika powder

How we do:

  • Soak the dal in water for 2-4 hours.
  • In a pot, add the dal and add water so it is approx 2″ above the dal. Add salt and turmeric powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the dal becomes soft. If there is any excess water, drain it.
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Once hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and asafoetida powder. When they begin to sizzle, add the onion and fresh chilli. Mix well and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the garlic and ginger. Cook four a couple minutes and add the salt, garam masala and paprika powder. Add the tomatos and puree. Mix and cook for a  few minutes. Now add the mushrooms and stir.
  • Once the oil begins to separate from the masala, add the dal and mix well for 2-3 minutes. Add the coriander.
  • BALLE BALLE! You’re good to go. Best served with hot chappatis.

Roasted Afghani Cream Chicken

We’ve had guests round this week from India and in true Mamma Sawhney style, preparations began a couple days before hand and a plethora of dishes were made. I was made in charge of preparing the chicken dish so I decided to go for Afghani Chicken. I’ve only ever eaten this dish in North India, once in Jaipur and more recently this past year, I ate  it in this small little Punjabi cafe called Sandoz in Karol Bagh, Delhi.  It was amazing!  Regardless, I did a little research on it when I got back and I came up with this recipe. This is definitely one of those recipes that should be saved for special occasions. Result was succulent, creamy, rich chicken-major emphasis on the rich. But in the best way. Recipe shown below serves 12. You can either divide by how many servings you want it to yield or use http://www.easysurf.cc/recipe.htm.

Serves 12:
3 baby chickens, pre portioned and skinned
6 tbsp heavy cream
6 garlic cloves
3″ ginger
1 1/2 lemons
4 tsp kasturi methi (fenugreek leaves)
6 tbsp white pepper
3 tsp black pepper
Pinch citric acid (optional)
9 tsp salt (or according to taste)
2  tsp garam masala
1 tsp cardamom powder
3 tbsp roasted cashew nuts
2 tbsp almond
3 tbsp olive oil
2 handfuls coriander, chopped

  • To make the marinade, add all of the ingredients listed excluding the chicken) into a food processor. Grind until a coarse paste has formed.
  • In a bowl add the chicken and mix in the paste. Mix well.
  • Marinade for at least 4 hours (overnight is preferable).
  • Preheat oven 170 C/ approx 340 F. (I used a convection oven).
  • Place the marinaded chicken into an oven proof dish that has a lid.
  • Add the chicken to it and secure its lid.
  • Cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully turn over the chicken. Let the other side cook for 30 minutes.
  •  You are good to go. Enjoy.