ladyfingers dressed differently!
Recently there was a drastic shortage of vegetables and fruits in the markets in Mombasa. This is the result of devolution where decisions are made at a drop of a hat without discussing the consequences. Trucks, lorries etc bringing in the goods now have to pay their transportation charges before entering Mombasa and not at the wholesale market. On top of that no night transport allowed. Hawkers around the markets were removed which resulted in protests. Esther our building mama mboga (vegetable lady) comes everyday selling fruits and vegetables to regualr customers. She complained that people were fighting over the minimum supply and if she wanted to enter the market with her basket to buy vegetables she would need to pay Ksh 20! Every penny for these poor people counts and here she now has to dish out money to enter the market! So till all these problems fizzle out, yes fizzle out as they never get sorted, she buys whatever is available to sell. So for the past 4 days she comes with ladyfingers. Yesterday I said to her “Esther not bhinda again” and she just put her hands up. So bhinda is what I bought. Had already made dry bhindi sabzi, bhinda ni kadhi so what now? Suddenly remembered that my daughter Nami makes bhindi punjabi style so my search for a perfect recipe began. Again it was a mixture of ideas from here and there, got it that the basic ingredients besides bhindi are onions, tomatoes, amchur powder and the usual spices. Made bhindi masala and both hubby dear and I loved it. Waiting for the next lot of bhindis. Till then here is the recipe.
250g ladyfingers (okra,bhindi, bhinda)
1 medium onion, chopped (approx ½-¾ cup)
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (approx 1 cup)
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
½-1 tsp green chilli paste
1 tsp coriander cumin powder (dhana jiru)
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
¼ tsp carom seeds (ajmo, ajwain)
½ tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp dry fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) or 2 tbsp fresh fenugreek leaves finely chopped
½ cup water
2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander (dhania)
- Wash the ladyfingers and keep it on a kitchen towel or napkin for a while to dry.
- Cut the ends off and cut the ladyfingers into inch long pieces.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- Add carom seeds and the ladyfingers.
- Stir fry in the oil, stirring frequently for 5 minutes.
- Remove the ladyfingers into a plate or wide bowl.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan.
- Add the chopped onions and asafoetida. Cook till the onions become soft and light pink in colour.
- Add garlic, ginger and chilli paste and saute.
- Add coriander cumin powder, turmeric and red chilli powder. Mix well.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Cook till they become slightly soft, stirring the mixture frequently.
- Add water and cover the pan. Let the mixture cook till the tomatoes become mushy.
- Add the stir fried ladyfingers.
- Mix well and cover the pan. Let the ladyfingers cook till done. This may take about 5 minutes.
- Add salt, garam masala, amchur powder and fenugreek leaves and mix well.
- Garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve with hot rotis.
- Wash the ladyfingers the previous day and leave it at room temperature.
- Add salt when the ladyfingers are cooked otherwise you will land up with sticky bhindi masala.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste.
- Can use punjabi garam masala.
- If you don’t have amchur powder, add about a tsp of lemon juice.
- Make amchur powder at home by drying grated raw mango (without the peel) in the sun. Grind the dried mango in a coffee or spice mill.
- Adding the garam masala at the end prevents the sabji from turning dark.
- Do not overcook the ladyfingers.
|stuffed bhindi or bharela bhinda|
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