Growing up in a household where vegetables were always given high preference over meat - like this Dahi Bhindi recipe, I wasn't always happy during meal times. Like any rebellious child, I despised anything green and considered "healthy" in my Mom's dictionary.
As a spunky 17 year old starting fresh at college and living in a hostel miles away from the caring tender hands that caressed Mom's cooking, I had grudgingly succumbed myself to the meals catered at my college campus. To my added disappointment, not only did the food lack in flavour and eye appeal but it also somehow failed in providing me with the limited array of greens that I actually thought were edible, to say the least.
Somehow, between the humdrum of a busy schedule and an even busier college life, I somewhat managed chugging down meals without a moments notice. That is until I got the same dish - mind you, same tasteless flavour and all, for five consecutive meals. Yes, five! And that was where I decided to draw the line and gift myself a pan or two, and some basic help to an edible home-cooked meal. The dreaded dish that made this happen if you wish to know, was okra.
It's not hard to believe that I sailed through the next few years cooking for myself without so much as a slight glance at okra. Never was there a shopping spree through the fresh produce section where I stopped and smelt the darned vegetable. And never had it, for as long as I can remember, ever taken a spot in my cart. That is, of course, until I met the then would-be Hubby Dear. Like a sudden twist of fate in any classic love story, on one of our first food conversations, Hubby Dear had candidly confessed to having a secret love affair with the dreaded pod.
Now, what was a poor little girl like me supposed to do! I'd heard endless tales of how a man's heart could easily be won through the deeds done for his stomach. And add to the fact that I had promised to cook him his favourite meal didn't make my case any easier. So there I was trudging through the fresh produce section, not only smelling, but also picking my first pound of okra, and giving it a place in my cart. And like anyone gifted with an unwanted pet that's impossible to give away, you accept your kismet and just get used to it. And hopefully eventually, but surely, you'll learn to love it - just like I did with this Dahi Bhindi recipe!
This Dahi Bhindi recipe is great way to cook to okra. It is a very simple dish bursting with flavour and the addition of yogurt gives this an added punch!
Dahi Bhindi: Okra cooked with Yogurt
- 2 tablespoon light cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium-sized onion thinly sliced
- 35-40 fresh okra cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon amchur powder
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
- salt to taste
- ½ cup plain yogurt beaten till smooth
- Heat oil in a wide non-stick pan and saute cumin seeds till they begin to sizzle. Add in onions and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat till lightly browned.
- Add in okra and stir-fry on high heat, tossing occasionally, for a few minutes till it starts to brown along the edges and the sliminess starts to disappear.
- Add in spices, season with salt and stir-fry for a few minutes mixing everything well. Lower the heat and slowly stir in the yogurt. Cook covered on low heat for another 1-2 minutes.
This post was originally published in February 2007 and has been recently updated.
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