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  • Punjabi Bhindi Masala
    Punjabi Okra

    YIELD: 5 CUPS / 1.2 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L sauté pan with a lid and a plate.

    My favorite vegetable growing up was—hands down—okra. I know it’s not commonly on teens’ lists of favorite veggies, but I was lucky enough to have it at my Nani’s (grandmother’s) home in India, where I could pick it right from the garden. It would then be quickly prepped with spices and some key ingredients, and the result was a dish that is irresistible. Try the recipe below, and it will make okra one of your favorites, too.

    • 70 medium -sized okra pods (about 1¼ pounds / 580 g)
    • 4 tablespoons /60 mL vegetable oil, divided
    • 1 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder), divided
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 medium yellow or red onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 (1-inch / 3-cm) piece ginger, peeled and grated or minced
    • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or minced
    • 1–4 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and finely sliced
    • 1 teaspoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan, for serving
    1. Wash the okra thoroughly and dry it with a dish cloth. This step is critical—drying the okra helps prevent sliminess later. Trim off the stem end of the okra and cut it into ½-inch / 1-cm rounds. The smaller and fresher the okra, the better.
    2. In a heavy-bottomed, 4-quart / 4-L sauté pan over medium–high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the okra and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. At this point, the okra will start to get a little lacy. Sprinkle it with ½ teaspoon of the amchur and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate, and set aside.
    3. Return the sauté pan to medium–high heat and warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the cumin seeds and turmeric and cook for 40 seconds, until the cumin seeds sizzle and turn reddish-brown.
    4. Add the onion to the the sauté pan and cook for 3 minutes, until the onions are slightly browned. Stir well. Add the ginger, garlic, and fresh chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
    5. Add the red chile powder, Garam Masala, coriander, salt, and the remaining ½ teaspoon of amchur to the the sauté pan and stir until combined. Cook for about 1 minute. Add the okra from Step 2 and cook for 2 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from the heat.
    6. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately with the brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

© 2016 Alta Editions LLC.