Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dum Bhindi (Okra marinated in Yogurt)


Do you like this picture? Do you find it different? Yes?
Do you know why? No?
Fine, then let me tell you. -tries to hide the extreme gleam, but fails- CAMERA!!!!!! Yay!!!! It's a birthday present from Hubby Dear. Well, I asked for it, but it still is a present. :) :) I am sooooo excited. It is all that I wanted in a camera. The one I used so far did not really do justice to my extraordinarily artistic(!) ideas, you know. ;-) But hey, I still love my old Kodak buddy. It was there for me throughout my 'teething' days. :)

Anyway, coming back to today's dish, the recipe for which I found here. I came across it while looking for different recipes for Bhindi/Okra/Lady's Fingers, because that is one of the few vegetables, which are always fresh and available at my favourite SriLankan shop. Which means that I cook okra at least once a week, if not twice. However, cooking the same vegetable always in the same way is boring for me. Not enough excitement in the kitchen, you see.

Well, then how is this dish? First of all, it is 'Satvik', meaning (amongst other things,) it has no onion or garlic, which makes it perfect for all the religious feasts that we are gonna have until Diwali. Also, the combination of spices used in it makes it very special. The texture of cooked okra in it is not exactly crispy, as many like it to be. It is slightly chewy, but not rubbery. What would attract the people at home (and maybe the neighbours too!) to the kitchen is the aroma of it while it cooks. Sniff sniff...ummmmmmm..... :)


Clockwise from left: Fresh okra, green chillis, yogurt, red chillis being pounded

Recipe for Dum Bhindi

Serves 4-5.


500 g. Bhindi/Okra/Lady's Fingers
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp Garam Masala (I used store-bought Sabji Masala instead.)
+ some more Garam Masala (I did not substitute this.)
2 red chillis, pounded
2 green chilies, chopped
4 tsp ghee (I used 1 tbsp Ghee and a non-stick pan.)
+ some more Ghee ( a few drops)
4 tsp ginger paste ( I used julienned ginger.1)
¼ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste


1. Using a mixer, blend together yogurt, Garam Masala (or Sabji Masala), salt, pounded red chilis and one chopped green chilli. Take it out into a largish pot, which will also accomodate the Bhindi.
2. Wash,wipe, top and tail the Bhindi. Cut it in 1 inch long pieces and make slits in it, making sure that it does not get cut in half.
3. Soak it in the yogurt mixture and let it marinate for about half an hour. Like so.


Clockwise from bottom left: Ginger juliennes, whole ginger,
okra marinating in yogurt-spice blend

4. Heat the Ghee in a pan. Add the ginger paste (or juliennes), the other green chilli, turmeric powder and fry it for about a minute.
5. Now add the Bhindi with the marinade, stir, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
6. Sprinkle some Ghee and a little Garam Masala on top of the Bhindi. Cover the pan with a lid. Steam-cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
7. Remove the lid and cook till almost dry. This may take around 15 minutes.

Serve hot with chapatis or Missi Roti or with rice and Dal.

1. I julienned the ginger or cut it into matchsticks instead of paste, because the paste while frying causes *oil sprays*, leaving the cooking herd, counter-top and your hands very oily. On the other hand, the matchsticks fry rather *peacefully*. Also, they are a pleasure to bite into. :)

This would be my second entry to this month's JFI hosted by Vineela. There could be a third one, if Vineela is ready to accept it late. I have made and photographed the dish, but cannot publish it until Tuesday next week, because I am off on a short holiday. Ciao ciao! (By the way, that's a clue. ;-) ;-))


Linda said...

Hooray, Vaishali - congratulations on your new camera! What a perfect time for a little holiday -- now you can really break it in. Photos look excellent. I got some really fresh okra yesterday and was planning to spend time today looking for a recipe; that's one less thing I have to do now as I'm going to try this. Have a great time in ... Rome? Florence? Venice? :)

Nee said...

Hey Vaishali,

You have a really wonderful blog here, with lovely pictures, with the old and new camera :-)

Question: is it ok to use frozen okra in this recipe?


indianadoc said...

Vaish! congrats for the camera! roll! action!! :)

Menu Today said...

Hi Vaishali,
New dish with new Camera!!!Congrats..Enjoy your short break.

Manasi said...

Hey Vaishali!
Wonderful snaps! Gr8 gift!
I love okra, its my fav!
Enjoy ur holiday!

Manisha said...

Wowee! New camera! Which one did you get? I think there's nothing wrong with asking for your gift. You get what you want and the hubby doesn't have to lose his hair trying to figure out what you might want. It might take the surprise away but that's only momentary. You spend the rest of the year enjoying what you wanted!

Looking forward to some excellent pictures from Italy!

Ashwini said...

The "New And Improved Happy Burp is Here"....ta daaaaa :-)
Between playing with your new toy and going to Italy (?) where did you find time for not one but 2 entries for JFI???

Shankari said...

Lovely pic! Have a great vacation!

shilpa said...

Wow..a new camera..thats great.its on my requirement list too :).

Hey I lovw bhindi. Will have to try this. Thanks.

Vaishali said...

Linda, are you a clever girl or what?! It is Palermo. Have also got a friend there. :)

Nee, I have never used frozen okra. So, I don't know whether it is ok to thaw it. If yes, then it can sure be marinated and cooked in this dish. Of course, this is just my guess. Maybe you want to try it out with smaller quantity and see?

Shaynee, oh yes, I am all for action. :)

Thanks MT, I have been looking forward to this break.

Manasi, I think I see you here for the first time. Welcome! Okra is very likeable, isn't it?

Manisha, you are so right. (Btw, my husband wouldn't lose hair over the right present coz...well...the pre-requisite is absent...ahem...)
It's a Canon EOS 350D. I think, I am not taking it to Palermo, though. Have heard a lot of nasty things about thefts being common there. Let's see...

Ashwini, main woh balaa hoon jo waqt ke peeche nahin bhagti. Waqt mere peeche bhagta hai...ha ha ha ha... ;-)

I will, Shankari. Thanks. :)

Now you just have to wait until your birthday, Shilpa. :) (Maybe you can ask your husband to read this post? Just for the sake of dropping hints? ;-))

Vineela said...

Hi Vaishali,
I love your dum bhindi.
great entry.
enjoy your vacation and send me your 3rd entry .
I will post happily for you.
Congrats on birthday gift.
Thanks for sharing.

Krithika said...

Love your recipe for dum bhindi. Yes it would be great with Missi Roti (thanks for the mention).

Foodie's Hope said...

Love Okra dishes, any kind!! Photo does look better, congratulations!
Did you try to get cocktail idli stand? I have put up the info for you.. Thanks for the recipe..

KrishnaArjuna said...

Congratulations on your new camera Vaishali..
bhindi looks delicious

Daagh said...

Wow your bhindis look delicious. I have never tried it this way. My wife makes them in 2-3 different ways that tastes yummy no less, but this one is for sure the most distinct. Will give it a try :-)

Also, regarding your comment on saunf in poha, you should try them once

Daagh said...

oh also, congratulations on your new camera :-)

Nabeela said...

Congratulations on your new camera. Is Italy your holiday destination? If so, you're lucky!!

Cooking Memoir said...

Have fun in Italy.

Prema Sundar said...

Hi Vaishali,
Great birthday gift.. and good recipe..

Neelu said...

HI vaishali ... I saw this reicpe n was so tempted...I ran ot the desi store yest n got bhindi so tht i can make it today :) Its one of my fav, but the frozen version is sooo bad, and I dont get it in stores always ! I miss bindi soo much ! BTW When r u shootign me with ur cam :)

sudha said...

hi vaishali..I love okra but never come across this curry. Thanks for sharing this new variety. Should have to try next time.

maneka nirmal said...

hey vaishali.
i am not a big fan of okra.but i am gonna try ur recipe look sooooo good..u got a superb bolg here...and thanks for adding me to ur bloggers list....

indosungod said...

Vaishali, the pictures looks beautiful and the dum bhindi looks delicious, this is a new recipe will have to try it out.

Revathi said...

wowwww the quality really shows in the pictures.. Enjoy ur holiday gal

Vaishali said...

Vineela, thanks for the nice words, and for waiting for me. :)

My pleasure, Krithika.

Asha, 'cocktail idli stand'? Was it somebody else's question perhaps? Anyway, thanks for putting up the info. :)

Arjuna, I hope I can now click good photographs like you do.

Daagh, thanks for stopping by. 'Saunf in Poha' will be tried out. :)

Nabeela, Italy was indeed my travel destination. Will write more about it soon.

I had lotsa fun thanks to your wishes, Usha.

Prema, I'll have to thank my husband once again, I guess. :)

Neelu, frozen Bhindi is indeed quite sorry. No substitute for the fresh babies, I guess.

Sudha, earlier I met more people who hated okra, and now I come across more who love it. Is it that the trend is changing or is it that I meet a different lot of people now?

Maneka, see my reply to Sudha's comment above. :) And hey, thanks for appreciating my blog.

Do let me know, in case you try it out, Indo.

I did have a nice time, Revathi. Thanks.

Aspiring Crazy Cat Lady said...

Vaishali, thank you so much for making this blog! I am an American and I *adore* Middle Eastern cuisine as does my husband. There is something inherently spiritual about the combinations of spices and ingredients. It makes one feel so content and full of inner peace. I can't think of a better title for this blog than the one you've given it. What a wonderful place you've made here. I can't wait to try out some of the recipes!

Raj Bangar @ SimplySpice said...

Hi Vaishali

I have to say I'm very impressed with the photo's on your blog. Have not had a chance to try out any of the recipes as yet, but i'm sure they will be as good as the pictures suggest.

Raj - UK

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