Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Sarson wali bhindi (okra/ladyfinger in mustard gravy)

No ‘northi’ or ‘bong’ (sorry m taking the privilege of using these abbr, but no offence to anyone) food incomplete without the smell of mustard spluttering the hot mustard oil or the intoxicating aroma wafting from the mustard gravy simmering away on the stove. This dainty looking spice is no less than Midas that lend a whole new meaning to any veggie it is cooked with. I almost drool every time I think about the potatoes in spicy mustard gravy (used for fish) that will satisfy any fish lover at least for some time or the pungent lauki raita with mustard paste.

Hubby dear loves okra/bhindi fry (well! I should be happy and not frowning like I m now). My predicament lies in the fact that hubby dear doesn’t like okra swimming in a gravy and I was bored of making the same old bhindi fry every alternate day. Why? Huh! He stuffed the refrigerator with 1 kg of okra because he thought that the quality and the price were hard to give a miss. No wonder he is a stocks and shares enthusiast. I kept postponing or rather ignoring the okras lying in the veggie box but how long. Can’t let them rot in one corner just because I was too lazy to make something new out of them. I dragged myself in search of my cell phone. All thanks to my little one who likes to send all the consonants and vowels to my friends and I have to explain everyone of them the next day. I realised I was already frowning when I dialled my mom’s number. But the next 10 minutes was just a happy flashback of one of my favourite okra in mustard gravy. Oh how much I loved my mom and of course the okra.........I was deliriously happy and tried to plant a forceful kiss on my daughter’s cheeks but was met with the same frown stolen from my face. Never mind. I can handle anything just to eat that curry....

Well if you think I m going too over the board types with this curry then I beg your pardon. Mustard is definitely an acquired taste but there is no harm in giving a slight kicks and a whack to your taste buds once in a while.

                                                                                                       photo by neetu

500 grms okra
3 medium potatoes
1 onion sliced
2-3 slit green chillies
2 tbs lime juice
Oil for cooking
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
Salt to taste
For mustard paste
2 tbs mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds (can use powder)
½ tsp coriander seeds (can use powder)
2-3 whole red chillies (can use powder)
1 tsp black peppercorns
8-10 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
1 medium bay leaf


photo by neetu
Wash the veggies. Cut the okra in 1 inch pieces. Cube the potatoes.
Make a fine paste of the spices. As mustard takes a little longer to grind, you can first grind the dry spices like all the seeds, peppercorn, red chillies and bay leaf in the grinder. Later add the wet spices like ginger and garlic along with 2 tbs of water. See if you require more water. The paste should be smooth.
Now heat some oil in kadai. Add the orka and sauté on high flame first and medium later till the edges get a nice brown colour. Be gentle. Nobody prefers mashed okras. After 5 minutes the stickiness will disappear. Take out and keep aside. In the same kadai add little oil (1 tsp) and fry the potatoes on medium flame till they get some colour.
                                                                             photo by neetu
In the same kadai put 1 tbs of mustard oil and heat it. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter properly till it releases an aroma. Add the green chillies. Sauté. Add the mustard paste. Mix. Add salt and turmeric and mix. Cover for 2 min. Add 2 tbs water and mix. Cover for 5 min. You will see the oil rising from the sides of the kadai. It’s times to add the sauted veggies and 1 cup of water. Let the gravy simmer for 2-3 minutes. Check if the potatoes are done. Keep the consistency according to your wish. Add lime juice but only after putting off the flame. Serve with rice or chapattis.

photo by neetu
You can use powders but I like to use whole spices and then grind them fresh. Trust me the effort really pays off in the end. Be careful not to burn the mustard paste while frying. It will taste bitter. Also, the amount of mustard will be determined how pungent the flavour should be. I love them so don’t mind even if it’s on the extra side. It is better to chose slightly matured bhindi as the tender ones might end up in a pulp while frying or simmering but avoid those chewy or hard fibrous ones. The lime juice in the end really perks up the dish so don’t forget about it.

Well! I think I have scared you enough so better be off to some cooking.

1 comment:

  1. I love mustard gravy with anything. My mom makes sarso wali tauri, lauki, gobhi and everything she can imagine....


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