BHARELA BHINDA NU SHAAK
I have been thoroughly enjoying okra, perhaps my favorite vegetable growing up. I loved the different preparations from my mother, for this one delicate and pretty vegetable. She made it 3 different ways: 1) Gujarati style with simply all the dried masalas, and ginger 2) Gujarati style#2 that is stuffed with peanut and chickpea flour masala, as is this recipe 3) Punjabi style with onions, ginger and garlic, dried masalas.
I loved all the preparations. My brother on the other hand, loved his okra, almost charred to death. Burnt. Black. He did not like potatoes in his. I loved potatoes in mine. We would fight over which style she should make. So mom would alternate between the 2 ways.
The recipe that I am sharing here is a very delicious one! You can use the stuffing in any other vegetable that you like such as eggplant, or bitter gourd(karela), or even ivy gourd(tindora). The stuffing itself is SO delicious and irresistible that I actually make it, put it in a bottle and store it in the fridge for upto a week. It is a great make ahead prep kinda vegetable.
KEY TO PICKING GOOD OKRA:
The key to finding good okra is to snap the end of each okra. If it snaps off easily then you know it is a good okra. If it does not snap off easily then leave it. Shhh, do not tell anyone this little secret that my mother taught me when picking the okra. The plastic bag in which she would have each and every okra picked would have tiny ends leftover.
INGREDIENTS OF THE MASALO:
The ingredients of this amazing masalo are:
- Chickpea flour
- Green Chillies
- Dried fenugreek
- Ground cumin
- Red chilli powder: Substitute with red kashmiri chilli powder, if you do not want it spicy, but you want a nice rich red color.
- Ground coriander
- Ground turmeric
- Lemon juice
- Vegetable Oil
The masalo is really easy to prepare. You need to dry roast the chickpea flour or besan, because it is otherwise hard to digest. By dry roasting it, you are essentially cooking it, and giving it more flavor and body as well.
The next step is to simply put everything in a high speed blender and grind it. I use my trusty NutriBullet to grind it all together. You want a coarse sort of paste. You dont want to grind it all the way, so that the mixture can have some grit to it. The mixture can be made a week in advance and stored in the refrigerator. The masalo is sweet, spicy, sour, slight bitter from the fenugreek. It is SO good.
You could also bottle it up, and make a cute basket for a friend, with vegetables in it, for them to have a quick meal that they can prepare. Once you have this mixture ready, it is essentially stuffing the okra with the masalo, and then sauteeing it in a pan.
You want to keep some stuffing on the side, atleast about ½ to ¾ cup aside, so that you can have more stuffing when you cook the okra. When you saute okra, the key to no slimeness is to stir occasionally. Do not continuously stir it, shake it, else it gets quite slimy.
It takes a mere 20 to 25 minutes for the vegetable to cook. I like to garnish with additional peanuts, cilantro and coconut.
We love eating this with garam garam(hot, hot) rotlis. The best way isnt it?!
Hope you get a chance to make this recipe. It is easy, it is delicious, and it is full of flavor. If you do make it, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on the blog!