My dad came across a wonderfully crisp bhindi recipe when he was working with former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. This dish was pretty much always on the menu there, and he liked it so much he asked my mom to experiment and come up with a version at home for us. My mom is a great cook, so her version (having never tasted the PM House one, can't compare) is delicious. My son eats kurkuri bhindi every single day - and it's one dish that always whips up an appetite in him. A, on the other hand, hates kurkure bhindi, so we have bhindi cooked two different ways whenever we make it for the adults in the house.
This tastes good with all kinds of things and is a very versatile dish. It goes well with roti or dal chawal. I like to add this to yoghurt just before serving, as a raita. You can even add it to a plain dal just before serving to perk up the flavour. It even works as a papad substitute with rice or pulao. Amazingly, it also serves as an interesting starter, served with a yoghurt dip or hummus!
- Half kilo bhindi, washed and dried well; topped and tailed, then sliced into 1 cm thick rounds
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 red onion, chopped small
- 2-3 green chillies
- teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp aamchur (mango powder)
- salt to taste
- coriander leaves for garnish
- 1 tbsp oil
Heat the oil in a wok.
Add the cumin seeds and wait for them to turn toasty.
Add the onions and cook until they are browning.
Add the tomatoes and cook further, until the tomatoes are somewhat soft.
Add the bhindi and stir to mix. At this stage, add the aamchur - it helps keep the bhindi from turning slimy.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bhindi is cooked through - it will turn soft, almost mushy.
Add salt to taste.
This is a regular at the dinner table, and goes well with rotis, dahi chawal, daal chawal or saar-anna. The trick is to cook the onions until they are brown - this adds a wonderful touch of sweetness to the dish.