Monday, January 30, 2006

Bhindi Kaali Mirch or Black Pepper Bhindi

Bhindi / Vendaikai / Okra / Lady's fingers has always been my favourite vegetable for as long as I remember. My only criteria when it came to Vendaikai was that it shouldn't be sticky. It has taken me years to learn to make it right, only it didn't involve any fancy tricks as I thought it would. I love all forms for vendaukai - 'vendaikai pulikulambu', the tangy curry that mom makes, vendaikai sambar, vendaikai morekulambu (both with fried vendaikai and non-fried ones), vendai varuval (crispy vendaikai poriyal), 'bhindi curry', that I picked up from my friend's mom which uses tomatoes and coconut and coriander powder, 'Bhindi Jaipuri', stuffed vendaikai that is fried - These are some of my favourite bhindi dishes. And yes, there's only one type of bhindi I don't like - the breaded okra! No, sorry, I dont like it. It's too bland and too oily for my preferences!

I picked up the above method (see picture) from Rinki, my roommate for sometime and a dear friend. So, the credit goes to her, if you try it and like it.

Okra - 2 cups
Salt to taste
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Black pepper corns - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan and add the chopped okra. You can use frozen too, but it's too delicate to handle and doesnt taste as great as fresh ones. Sprinkle some salt and turmeric powder on it and stir once. The pinch of turmeric powder will not turn this dish yellow, but it will help turn the okra into a beautiful green color. Cover it and let it cook for 2-3 mins. then remove the cover and reduce the heat. Dont keep on stirring or you'll end up with a green mess. after 5 mins, see if it's cooked. If so, Add freshly crushed pepper (slightly coarse) and some more salt and stir once. Leave it on slow fire for another 5-10 mins. The dish will be ready by now and yes, without any stickiness.


BDSN said...

Wow!!!Vendakkai...Who wouldnt love it..It's one of my favorite too.Bhindi Jaipuri is new to me..Pls post the recipe if you happen to try that one..I will surely give this one a try..Its the most simple curry i have come across....

Kay said...

Thanks bdsn, I tried 'Bhindi Jaipuri' in a restaurant 'during my veggie days' during college time, all I remember now it had an 'out of the world' taste. I think they stuffed bhindi with something and shallow fried it...but it was slightly coated with some masala too... Yet to find a real recipe.