Normally I would just spend the hours between 6:00 and 9:00 patiently waiting in anticipation of what she will be cooking for dinner, but one day, while I was waiting to get the frayed edges of a newly purchased scarf sewn up, I saw this:
OKRA!!! Bindi, as they call it here. I could not resist. I purchased one kilo of the stuff for 40 rupees (approximately 40p or 80 cents) and brought the bag home to present to Jaishree when she arrived with her son Jimy to make dinner. I had a request; Bindi Masala.
Of course, it had to be a little makeshift. I am used to tomatoes in my bindi masala but Jaishree wasn’t so sure…in the end there were only a few small tomatoes in the kitchen so she didn’t mind adding them. Plus, we also used potatoes to expand the size of the dish as she was cooking for about 10 people. The potatoes turned out to be a good call, leave them out or leave them in, either way, follow this recipe and you’ll be eating like a king!
This is the exact recipe we used, feel free to make your own embellishments!
What you’ll need:
- Okra (not necessarily one kg’s worth but a decent amount)
- A few small potatoes
- Some small red onions
- Some small tomatoes
- A whole whack of small green chillies (this woman is serious about spicy)
- Chilli powder (yeah the actual chillies aren’t enough apparently)
- At least a tablespoon of salt
- Ground coriander
- Fresh coriander
First, put on some old romantic Bollywood music. Jaishree enjoyed this.
Then wash the okra well, it often looks pretty dirty, even if you haven’t bought it off a cart from a man who looks like he hasn’t washed his hands since 1989.
Cut the okra into small round pieces. I helped Jaishree with this. She got pretty annoyed with me, however, when she discovered that I’d failed to discard the little okra tips. She spent a good 5 minutes picking them out….
Meanwhile, we peeled and cut up some small potatoes into little cubes (the smaller the pieces the faster they’ll cook–you want them to cook fast), we chopped some red onions and some very small and spicy green chillies. I normally cook with about 3 chillies. Jaishree used like, 16.
Except that dirty looking one in the middle which I pulled out and chucked when she wasn’t looking.
Heat a couple tablespoons of some vegetable oil in a deep wok and allow it to get nice and hot. Then add the chopped onions and chillies. Allow to fry for a few minutes and then add the potatoes.
Then, Jaishree arduously added the kilo of chopped okra and carefully stirred it all up so that the oil coated the okra and the onions, potatoes and chillies were well distributed throughout the wok.
After about 7 minutes of cooking, it was spice time.
Jaishree added about 2-3 tablespoons of turmeric and a couple tablespoons of chilli powder!!!! I know….this was a serious chilli situation. She also added about 3 generous pinches of salt and a couple tablespoons of ground coriander.
We let the okra cook in the spices for about 10 more minutes and then Jaishree pushed all the okra to one side and added some chopped tomatoes into the other side. (I wanted tomatoes, Jaishree wasn’t into it but I insisted and I’m glad I did because they added some much needed acidity and freshness to the otherwise very very spicy dish).
Here I am eagerly waiting for Jaishree to say it’s ready!
Jimy was waiting too…
When the Bindi Masala was ready she just whipped up some chapatis, no big deal…
I got to eat this! How lucky am I ?!
Up next: How to make daal the way Jaishree makes daal!