Over six years ago when I first introduced the Intro to Indian Food series of this very blog, I had no idea I was about to start a cult following. What started as a simple desire to help a few of my friends and readers learn the basics of Indian cooking, enabling them to enjoy good food cooked in the comforts of home using fresh, readily available, and healthy ingredients, turned out to be one of THE best decisions I ever made in my writing/blogging career. The series was soon picked up by The Mississauga News as a monthly feature in their food section. Over the years, I’ve received a ton of emails and comments on those posts from folks eager to learn more, much more, about Indian food. And it has been a true pleasure for me responding to each and every one of those queries.
I’ve been reading through a lot of feedback from you guys on the kind of content you’d like me to showcase more of on HoH. Let me just say that I have a couple of fun features/ideas that should take off soon that I’m sure you’ll enjoy very much. One of them that makes me giddy with excitement is a spin off from my Indian 101 series. I know that a lot of you have asked me to bring that back, but I think I can offer you something a step further. Join me, as I cook my way from A to Z of Indian Food. Each post in this series will showcase a recipe of a dish that begins with a letter from the alphabet. I’ll try my best to pick a variety of vegetarian, non-vegetarian and vegan recipes – both restaurant favourites, and simple home cook secrets.
MORE POSTS ON INDIAN FOOD: A-Z
- A is for… Achari Mushrooms
- B is for… Bhuna Chicken
- C is for… Chatpati Bharwaan Bhindi
- D is for… Dhabewali Dal Tadka
- E is for… Egg Curry
POSTS ON INTRO TO INDIAN COOKING
Bhindi, or Okra as we all know it, is quite a tricky vegetable when it comes to cooking. Although it certainly is one of the most popular vegetables in an Indian vegetarian menu, there are a huge chunk of us who wring our noses on its slimy characteristics. Hubby Dear loves this dainty vegetable to death and can eat it at any meal, but serve it up even with the slightest of moisture in it and he’s off! I’m the same way. For me, the okra must always be cooked absolutely dry, with lots of spices added in. A quick way to cook bhindi is by stir-frying the chopped pieces with lots of onions and some spices. My tried and tested trick to get rid of any trace of slime while cooking is to add in a hefty pinch of amchoor powder.
Today’s recipe is another way to jazz up this humble vegetable and create a dish that’s perfect for entertaining. Chatpati simply means tangy and in this recipe, the addition of amchoor powder also known as dried mango, takes kicks it up a notch. In my book, this recipe is an absolute win since it’s simple to prep, easy to cook and a definite crowd pleaser. Because this is a pretty dry vegetable side dish, I would suggest pairing it up with a side of Curry or Dal served alongside some Rice and Rotis.
CHATPATI BHARWAAN BHINDI
PREP TIME: 20 MIN | COOKING TIME: 15 MIN | SERVES: 4 AS SIDE
25-30medium sized okra, washed and tops cut off
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp amchoor powder
salt, to taste
2 tbsp light cooking oil
Slit each okra halfway through the middle length-wise to open it up to enable stuffing.
In a bowl, prepare the stuffing mix by combining the spices and salt. Stuff each orka with a hefty pinch of the spice mix and set aside.
Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat and add in the stuffed okra. Let it cook covered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the okra does not burn on any side. Once the okra has softened and cook through, it’s ready to serve!