Bhindi bhaaji was a staple weeknight dish for my Mom. It was always one of my favorite dishes because it was not very spicy and my Mom cooked it until it was slightly crispy and crunchy. I love bhindi bhaaji so much that I made sure it was served at my wedding reception!
As a note, "bhaaji" is a Marathi word for a dish consisting of a cooked vegetable. In Hindi it is known as a "sabzi"; in Gujarati it is known as a "shaak." There is a different word in every language, but it is the same thing!
Rather than washing the bhindi (okra) by running it under water, wipe each okra clean with a moist cloth. Cut the okra into small "round" slices, ensuring that the slices are not too thin. Chop the onion.
Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and stir until coated with oil. Add turmeric and stir until onion is coated with turmeric. Then cover and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add okra and saute until slightly softened . Add red chili powder and salt and saute. Cover the pan again and let it cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Add red chili powder and salt and saute. Cover the pan again and let it cook for an additional 3 minutes. Then add roasted coriander powder, cover the pan and let it cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remember that fresh coriander is easy to make and tastes best!
Finally, add lemon juice, and then turn heat to high to give the okra a bit of crisp! If you do not have lemon juice, you can also subsitute amchur (mango) powder.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/2 small white onion
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Two hand-fulls of okra (bhindi)
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder (add more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt (add more to taste)
- 1 tsp coriander powder (add more to taste)
- 1/4 piece of lemon
- Do not wash okra by running it under water; rather, use a wet cloth and wipe the okra clean.
- Cut okra into small "rounds" which are not too thin. Chop onion.
- Add oil to saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and stir until coated in oil.
- Add turmeric and stir until onions are coated with turmeric. Cover pan and let stand for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add okra and saute until slightly soft.
- Add red chili powder and salt, and saute until mixed in. Cover pan and let stand for 3 minutes.
- Add roasted coriander powder and saute until mixed in. Cover pan and let stand for 2 minutes.
- Add juice from lemon and increase heat to high to crisp okra.