Bhindi Masala

(Stir fried Okra and Red Onion spiced with ground roasted spices, Peanuts and Sesame) 

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Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4-6

25-30 small and tender Okras (about 6-8 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 
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.
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.

Labels: Okra(Ladies Finger), Onions, Peanut, Sesame, Stir-Fry, Subjis