Monday, 19 February 2007

Gujarati Series: Achari Bhindi- Okra with Pickle Masala


One common denominator in my household is our love for Bhindis...served in a Bhinda ni Kadhi, Bhareli Bhindi, Suki Bhindi, Bhindi Masala...this is one veggie that is welcomed by all...without any *looks* from Sahil and baby Siddh. Lately, I don't know what it is, but Sahil gets this smirk on his face as he asks me
" gawd, what is this green stuff?" and he slowly picks away at anything remotely green on his plate. He knows excatly how to push my buttons, you know. But Bhindi, no way...one of his favorite veggie, no comments there.

Anyway, I learned this recipe from my Foi - my dad's sister. She lives in the same town as me, so we often exchange recipes and loads of laughter every time we get together. The pickle masala in this recipe gives it a very nice flavor. There are many ways to prepare bhindi. Some add just plain ajwain seeds in the tadka, while some add jeera and methi seeds. Both flavors taste great...but the ground methi in the pickle masala just gives an added kick, which I like.

Here is what you need for Achari Bhindi:
1 packet Bhindi - yes, again, darn frozen packs for me,you can use fresh if you are lucky.
1 tbsp ready made pickle masala, you can use more, provided you can stand the "heat".
1 tsp Jeera seeds,
1/2 tsp asafoetida,
1 tbsp or less- Oil
t tsp-turmeric powder, salt, and a pinch of sugar- to your taste, yes, the famous pinch of sugar, being the typical Gujju that I am, I add this automatically in every curry that I make...I don't know, but adding this little pinch of sugar makes everything better!

In a wide pan, heat some oil. Add the jeera seeds, asafoetida and the turmeric powder. I often add turmeric powder directly in the "vaghar" or tadka, to give it a nice color and flavor. Add the bhindis, Make sure the heat is on medium high. Give this is whirl for a few minutes rapidly. Cook for a few minutes and add some pickle masala, salt, and the sugar. Cook until done.
Serve hot with some chapatis and yogurt. Here's another look.

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