August 19, 2007
Healthy Sabzi Series #4- Oriya Bhendi Masala
My first and only visit to Orissa was many many years ago. The vacation included trips to Puri, Konark temple, Nandankanan National Park among other places.
The memories have faded, I remember bits and pieces like holding on to old photographs. I remember the crowd in the Jagannath temple; someone had to pick me up so that I could breathe and the pujari who came with mishti bhath everyday to the rest house. I remember the Sun temple and the awe I felt as a child and the roar of the white tigers at the National Park.
We had traveled in a large group during one of our summer vacations - aunts and uncles, grandmother and her sisters, cousins - lots of us. The first day we arrived in Puri, we all went to the beach. It was evening and I was sitting with my grandmother waiting for the next wave to wash our feet. But the wave was bigger than I had anticipated and I was drenched by the time it receded. But I did venture into the sea again the next day and it was a lot of fun.
It is the fun that I remember from the Orissa trip.
When I saw the RCI Oriya cuisine, I wanted to participate. But nothing came to mind, so I got some help from the internet. While browsing I came across this recipe for Bhendi Masala. The combination of Green Peppers and Okra intrigued me and I had fresh Okras from the Farmer's Market trip. I decided to try it. It was so delicious - along with mushurir dal and chapatis it was a wholesome meal.
(adapted from bhaja in Oriya Kitchen)
1 lb - frozen or fresh okra
1 - medium onion
1 - tomato
1- green pepper (I used yellow bell pepper)
1tspoon - cumin powder
1tspoon - coriander powder
1/2 tspoon- turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon - fresh ginger chopped
1/2 tspoon - fresh garlic chopped
1 tspoon oil
1/2 tspoon amchur powder
1 red chilli
1 tspoon- cumin seeds
chopped cilantro for garnishing
Cut okras into small pieces. Then chop the onions, tomatoes and the bell pepper and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan and temper it with cumin seeds and red chilli. Then add the ginger and garlic and saute for a minute. Then add the chopped onions and fry it till they start turning brown.
Add the tomato along with cumin and coriander powder. Add turmeric powder and let it cook on closed lid till the tomatoes turn soft. Then add the bell pepper and okra.
Stir for a few minutes till everything mixes and cook it on medium heat till the okra starts turning soft. Then add the amchur powder and cook it for a couple more minutes.
The okra should turn soft but not mushy. Take it off the heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve warm.
With okra and bell peppers it was also a part of the healthy sabzi series and my entry for RCI- Oriya hosted by Swapna of Swad. The event was created by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine.