Lady Fingers/ Okra/ Bhendis is a very popular vegetable at home. If cooked properly with the right blend of spices these slimy green fingers can be turned into a delicious vegetable. I have used a combination of pepper and fried garlic to add flavour to this dish. It is truly worth trying. Served best with chappatis or curd rice.
Ingredients: Serves 4
Ingredients: Serves 4
Tender baby Bhendis: 350gms (test for tenderness- tail end or tip should snap easily when bent)
Onions: 2 medium sized, cubed into squares of 1/2 inch
Green chillies : 3 nos slit
Garlic: 3-4 large flakes sliced
Mustard seeds: 1.5 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Urad dal: 1tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Coarse pepper powder: 2 tsps
Oil- 5-6 tbsps
1. Wash the bhendis in water and then lay flat for a few minutes on kitchen paper towels to dry completely or wipe dry. This step is very important to reduce sliminess of bhendi.
2. Next slice the dried bhendis on a dry chopping board using a sharp dry knife. First slit the bhendis length wise into halves then into halves again ( each bhendi into 4 long strips), and then horizontally across through the center. This should give you 8 bhendi pieces. Make sure knife remains slime free by wiping frequently on a kitchen towel.
3. Cube onions into 1/2 inch cubes. Slice garlic finely across width.
4. Place a large wok on medium-high heat, add 3 tbsps oil, add mustard seeds when hot, once they splutter add urad dal, and cumin seeds, when urad turns brown and cumin fragnant add sliced garlic and fry till garlic is aromatic and lightly browned.
5. Add slit green chillies, onions, turmeric and salt, stir fry till onions turn translucent.
6. Turn the heat to high and add the bhendis , stir fry continuosly. Add the remaining 3 tbsps oil at intervals pouring oil on the sides of the hot wok, rather than directly on the vegetable, sprinkle pepper powder, continue to stir fry bhendis for 5-7 mins or more till cooked and slightly crunchy. Taste for salt. Cooking on high heat allows the bhendis to cook faster, reduce sliminess and retain their crunchy texture.
Bhendi losun-meri is ready, serve with soft chappatis or curd rice, pickle and papad.
Note: Left overs make excellent vegeterian sandwiches. Just spread a layer of low-fat soft processed cheese on both bread slices, place a generous layer of bhendi on one slice. A little tomato pickle on the other slice. Close the sandwich and toast in a sandwich maker till the bread is crunchy and brown on the outside.
For non- vegeterian sandwiches add slices of left over chicken breast on top of the bhendi. Then toast as above.