Another family favourite, a little less frequently visited… Okra or Bhindi subji. This a tasty and unusual dish… usually the random side dish on a take away menu! When I was growing up this was very rarely if at all found in your local supermarket but now available in most stores.
The slimy texture of okra (also commonly known as “ladies fingers”) is what puts most people off when thinking about cooking with this vegetable. You can try this method for prepping but I can’t remember Jhaiji ever doing this. The thing I remember is that it was always bought as fresh as possible and vibrant green in colour. It was washed thoroughly and then cooked! The cooking from memory removed the undesired texture.. so stick with it, it will be fine!
What you need…
Stuff for one portion of Tholka …prepared to your personal taste but chunkier ginger is tastier!
Garam masala… two tsps should be fine.
Huldi… turmeric, a heaped tsp.
Fresh okra… about 300-400g. Chop into lengths of about 1 to 2cm. Always best to visit a store rather than buying as part of your regular online shop.
Salt… for seasoning, about a tsp but adjust at the end of cooking as the taste develops.
Fresh coriander… about a handful, torn or chopped.
Water… about a half a cup.
What you need to do…
1. Prepare and cook the tholka until it is lightly golden in colour… all the initial stages are done on a medium/low heat.
2. Add the huldi and fry for a further couple of minutes… keep stirring and mixing gently.
3. Add the garam masala and allow to warm for a minute… keep stirring gently.
4. Add the okra… keep stirring to make sure everything is coated with the tholka mix. It will look a bit slimy at this stage but that will change.
5. Add about half a cup of water and salt to taste… keep stirring and now keep the heat on low.
6. Cover and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes… occasionally stir.
7. Once the okra has tendered and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, remove from the heat! …you will also realise the stringy-ness of the dish has disappeared! If it is too runny, remove lid and cook for a few more minutes with the heat of medium!
What to do next…
Serve hot with pitta/naan/roti and fresh yoghurt! This dish will also freeze well or you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and have it as side dish!