Bhindi Dopiyaza – Spiced Okra & Onions

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Lady fingers, okra, bhindi. Whatever you call them…they tend to split the opinion polls! Some love them. Some hate them-well they think hate them…I am of the opinion that they just haven’t had them cooked well yet!  I am (obviously) a fan and a huge one at that. Okra tends to get a bad rep for it’s slimy texture but with the right recipe, this dish will become a favourite and a firm part of your culinary repetoire.

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Containing high levels of vitamin A & B and folic acid, okra is super healthy and quick to make. Layered with heat, tang and slight sweetness, bhindi dopiyaza is perfect gobbled up with buttery chapatis.

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Bhindi Dopiyaza
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Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  3. 1 tsp nigella seeds
  4. 500g okra
  5. 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  6. 2 birds eye chillis, finely chopped
  7. 1 1/2 tsp salt
  8. pinch of sugar
  9. 1 tsp garam masala
  10. 1/2 tsp paprika
  11. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  12. 1 tsp amchur (sun-dried mango powder)
  13. 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  14. handful of chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a non stick pan. Now add the cumin and nigella seeds.
  2. When they begin to sizzle, place the onions, chillis and okra in the pan and add salt. Mix well and cook on medium heat for approx 5 minutes, mixing every couple of minutes. You will see slime strands at this point.
  3. Reduce heat low and place lid on pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, mixing it every couple of minutes.
  4. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the slime strands begin to reduce and eventually disappear.
  5. Now add the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and coriander and mix. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. Mix well and remove from heat.
Notes
  1. It's important to cook out the okras until the slime strands disappear. Slightly overcooked okra is perfect for this type of dish!
Monica's Spice Diary - Indian Food Blog http://spicediary.com/

Paneer Stuffed Okra

Okra is an interesting vegetable! It’s usually known as a veggy that people either love or loathe. I personally love it but for those who aren’t too okra happy this recipe is known to have converted those very people into okra lovers. The spiced paneer stuffing compliments the okra and really enhances the overall taste. My Mum and I recently made this dish at a recent supper club evening. I was initially a little apprehensive as I wasn’t sure how it would be received by our guests but everyone enjoyed it and it was actually the first dish to finish! Check out the recipe and let me know how it goes for you..

Serves approx 3-4

What we need:
20 medium sized okra, washed and dried
90g fresh crumbled paneer
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp amchur
3/4 tsp garam masala
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful fresh, chopped coriander

For the masala:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp kalonji (onions seeds)
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt (or according to taste)
1 big tomato cut into 8 pieces
Handful fresh, chopped coriander

How we do:

-To make the 90g of home made fresh crumbled paneer please see here
-In a bowl mix the paneer with the coriander powder, paprika, garam masala, amchur, salt and fresh coriander.
-Cut the tops of the okra off and carefully make a verticle slit in each okra.
-Stuff each okra with the paneer masala and place on a plate. (You may have to do this in two batches). Drizzle the oil evenly over the okra and cover plate with cling film. Cook each batch in the microwave for 3 minutes.
-In a non stick pan, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, asafoetida and kalonji. When they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onion.
-Cook until slightly golden and add the turmeric powder and salt.
-Now add the stuffed okra and gently stir together for a few minutes.
-Add the fresh tomatoes and gently mix well.
-Sprinkle on the fresh coriander.