18 February, 2009

Masala Bhindi: Going Nuts!

Masala Bhindi

There are so many things happening around me, so many things that I want to write and so many thoughts to share. But today I feel like I have run out of words. May be I’ll be able to do it once I clear my mind and focus on just one thing at a time. But I am not sure when this going to happen! :)

So, al I am going to write about is food and just food, till I bounce back with some old stories, some sweet memories, some crabby bites and whole lot of rants. Today’s recipe is something I tried few days back, it’s Masala Bhindi. It was another hectic day at office and I was seriously not in a very good mood to cook anything, let alone chop vegetables and grind spice powder. But the thought of good food and wasting big bagful of Okras that I bought for ridiculous price were enough to dive into a long process of washing, cleaning, drying and chopping slimy Okras. First I thought of making simple Bhindi Do Pyaz (recipe to come soon) but later changed my mind when I saw a cup of roasted Peanuts sitting not-so-happily in pantry. It was few days back when I had roasted these peanuts to make Coconut-Mango Pulihara/Chitranna and I wanted to finish them as soon as possible.

Peanut with Okra? Sweet okras stir fried with crunchy roasted peanuts. The idea was enough to make me go nuts and with in few mins I was roasted few basic spices along with my favourite lentils to make a spice powder. Along with spices I thought of roasting white Sesames which is not much used in my recipes. Last week I had bought big bag of Indian red Onions (also called curry onions) from Indian grocery shop. It is quite expensive when compared with the usual white onions we get from supermarket but it tastes way too better than white ones. So I picked the biggest one I could find in that 5 kg gunny bag as I like the taste of fried onions. Except for cleaning, drying and chopping of okras, it took me very little time to make this Masala Bhindi. When served with Chapatti, Rice and Dal I felt it was worth all those efforts I put into cooking after one hell of the day! The sweet taste of okra and onion was perfectly in sync with roasted spice powder, peanuts and sesame. Try this recipe if you are tired of same old Bhindi Fry or Bhindi Masala and discover the nutty combination ;)

Roasted Spice Powder, Okras & Peanuts for Masala Bhindi

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Bhindi Masala (Stir fried Okra and Red Onion spiced with ground roasted spices, Peanuts and Sesame)
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4-5
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat bread or flavoured/steam cooked rice

25-30 small and tender Okras (about 8-10 cups), trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large Red Indian Onion, thinly sliced
2-3 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
¼ cup Roasted Peanuts
1 Roasted white Sesame Seeds
Juice of ¼ - ½ Lime (Adjust acc to taste)
2-3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

For Spice Powder:
½ tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
A big pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
½ tbsp Channa Dal/Split Chickpeas
¼ tbsp Urad Dal/Split Black Lentils
2 tbsp Roasted Peanuts
½ tbsp Roasted white Sesame
3-5 Dry Red Chillies (Adjust acc to taste)

For Tadka:
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
Few Curry Leaves
A big Pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
1 tbsp Oil
Masala Bhindi

Dry roast cumin, hing, channa dal, urad dal and red chillies in a pan till the lentils turn golden brown and aromatic. Let them cool and combine with roasted peanuts and sesame. Grind them all into a fine powder using coffee grinder or mixer. Keep it aside till needed.
Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil in a pan and add chopped okras to it. Cook them on high heat, stirring continuously, till okras turn crisp and brown spots start to appear. It usually takes around 5-7 minutes. Transfer these fried okras into a plate lined with kitchen towel.
Next heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, hing and curry leaves to it. When cumin starts to sizzle and turn golden red, add thinly sliced onion and finely chopped garlic. Sauté continuously till onions turn golden brown, about 2-3 mins.
Mix in turmeric and ground spices and toss them well. Make sure that the spices are evenly distributed among onions. Now add fried okras, salt to taste and mix well. Cook them for two more minutes making sure that the spices have coated every piece of okra.
Switch off the pan and mix in lime juice, roasted peanuts and sesame and toss well. Serve this delicious Masala Bhindi with Rice/Chapatti and Dal and enjoy.

Masala Bhindi

Few tips for those who find it difficult to cut, and cook those slimy Okras.
Always choose young and tender okras. The best ones are the ones that get easily snapped when you bend the tail end of the pod.
Make sure that you dry the Okra completely after washing them in water. Either spread them on kitchen towel in single layer and leave it for few hours or pat them dry with dry kitchen papers/towels. It is a must that the okras are dried properly if you don’t like them go slimy.
Next while chopping them, make sure that you have dry chopping board and knife. Keep dry kitchen paper next to you and clean the slime from knife using it whenever needed.
I have tried stir frying the okra with very little oil and ended up with really slimy okras. So then onwards I usually use little more oil than normal and cook it on a very high heat. This way the okras not only get cooked fast and retain their crispiness, but also any moisture in them disappears at high heat. And you will be surprised to see how the sliminess is reduced in short period of time.


  1. WoW! Looks so tempting. I tried it the other day, forgot to post it. We love it too.

  2. I always love to read your old memories.............
    Okra not my fave veg, have to admit with the addition of nuts, they looks good.

  3. Peanuts goes well with everything. I made ennegayi with peanuts y'day! :D

    Bhindi masala sounds great to me, yummy. I will try.

    You ran out of words? You are really really tired! Hahaha! Rest when you can, we are all suffering from cold virus here. Haryanvi thali tomorrow at FH, don't miss it! :))

  4. Bhindi is my all time fav veggie and adding nuts to it makes it more appetizing

  5. Oh, wow!! Okra with sesame seeds and peanuts sounds fabulous, Sup! I use sesame seeds in most gojjus. And you bet, the red onions are way more flavourful than the white ones.
    Weather gotten better there now?

  6. Me too going nuts ,imagining the combined flavors of okra and onion with peanuts and TIL.
    Loved the recipe ,no matter how unusual it sound but the pictures speaks for itself,so no doubts abt the taste now :-)

  7. Hi Sia

    I was wondering wat to make with these Okra, i dint want to go for the regular bhindi fry...now i know wat to do. Bhindi looks yummy.I will let you know how it turned out.I'm gonna make it tonight.

  8. lovely dish...i love the masala recipe.

  9. My fav veggie..I loved the idea of throwing in Peanuts..yum..:)

  10. Love peanuts on anything :)...gives nice crunch with okra.

  11. Hing, peanuts & sesame.. nothing can go wrong!! I can almost get a whiff of the fantastic aroma from here. Your pictures are REAL... beckoning us from the screen.

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE Bhindi!!! Peanuts go so well with everything!

    BTW.. why did u run out of words??? All ok? Take care Sweety!!!

  13. bhindi is my most favourtie vegetable :)
    I love your spice powder... will try this recipe the next time I make bhindi!

    - Indhu (www.thayirsaadham.com)

  14. love the look. u a good cook and good photographer. i miss bhindi!

  15. bhindi looks very delicious Sia. I also add nuts in almost all veggies.

  16. Wow peanuts in bhindi looks delicious..I can smell the aroma of the masala..yummy...

  17. Hi ,
    bhindi looks so yum...hmmm..with peanuts...will try ..

  18. woour subji looks tempting and tht spice powder sounds interesting ..perfect dish with chppathi...

  19. Its been a while since I cooked okra. Since both TH and I are not huge fans of it, I have to mostly disguise it in some form or the other ;) I love the spice powder combo though.

  20. Peanuts and bhindi, hmmm thats a combination I haven't seen before, looks good!

  21. I'd put peanuts in everything... given half a chance.

  22. The spice powder is really gravitating me towards making the recipe. Peanuts add a nice crunchiness. Will definetly try next time when I get bhindis.

  23. Nutty and spicy bhendi....Looks yummy.

  24. Okra! my favorite vegetables... love anything with okra..Masala okra looks soo good

  25. spicy nutty okra looks so tempting Sia,will surely try this masala okra as i'm bored of same okra fry :)!!

  26. What a nutty flavor , love the peanut crunch in bindi!

  27. I am so loving these big, bold, sexy photographs!

  28. looks delicious .. I'd love bhindi with anything ..

  29. Okra is one of my fav veggies but never added peanut, interesting

  30. Peanuts in okra, sounds interesting and since I love both of them I am sure this curry would be something I would love to try...looks yum !

  31. Nice tips on cutting Okras, and a very interesting recipe.

  32. Sia, I have got to try this over the weekend. looks delish !!

  33. lovely idea! looks so gorgeous.

  34. Lovely n bhindi looks gorgeous,love the peanut touch..yummy...

  35. Wow, i wish somebody would make this for me

    Work from home

  36. Hi Sia!
    I tried out ur Bendekai recipe last night, but with a couple of small tweaks..... it turned out to be very nice.... My hubby who doesnt like Okras, enjoyed it too :)

  37. I am glad to know that you and your hubby enjoyed it Sum :) thanks for letting me know.

  38. recipe lukd damn interesting...tried it n hav to say..its fantastic! luvd d taste d peanuts gave..definitely a keeper!!

  39. Made it today and even by 4 yr old LOVED it. Many thanks girlfriend!


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