Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Bhendi, Bhindi, okra, bendakai, vendakay, lady's finger (why not lady's fingers?).

One evening last week, HD (Hubby Dearest) looked at my face and could tell I wasn't feeling up to par in the heat.
"Let me cook something," he said.
I nodded happily tamping down on my reluctance to refuse his offer and defrost something for dinner. These days he rarely offers, because his own energy level isn't great. (We both know, growing old isn't for cissies).
He said, "Bhendi?'
I nodded. He has recipe is quick and easy and definitely part of our five star recipe collection.

1 16 oz pkt. frozen, chopped bhendi.
1/2 large onion chopped (3/4 cup or 6 ozs chopped).
Salt, chilli powder, haldi/turmeric.
2 Tbsps olive oil.

Heat oil, fry chopped onion.
While onion is frying, place frozen bhendi in a microwave safe dish and nuke for 5 mins. Take out, stir and nuke again for 3 mins.
If it looks uncooked, nuke for two more.
Add chilli powder to onions in pan. Fry for a min.
Add bhendi, salt and turmeric, mix lightly or bhedi will become a mash and remove from stove after 2 mins.
Eat with hot chappattis...ours are whole wheat tortillas from the store that heat up in a minute.
HD swears he doesn't put butter on this dish, but I KNOW he does as soon as my back is turned and I stop talking about clogged arteries.

How else can a simple veggie be so finger licking good?

Thursday, 30th July, 2008.

Another JIFFY BHENDI recipe.

This is my recipe from a Punjabi friend and HD loves it.

Fresh bhendi...I chooses the kind that is fresh and tender, checking by pressing firmly in the middle...the old days when my mother used to test for freshness by breaking the tip are in the past.
Salt, chilli powder, turmeric and oil to fry.

Wash the bhendi, top and tail it with a knife (remove tip and other end), and leave it on a paper towel or kitchen towel to dry. This ensures your bhendi will NOT be sticky. Sometimes I make a slit on the side, sometimes I don't.
This recipe is rather vague re. quantities as it is an 'eyeball' recipe...first you eyeball the fresh bhendi, then you eyeball the pan and put in enough oil (eye balled of course), to coat the bottom of the pan plus one extra Tbsp.
When oil is hot put in chilli powder and haldi, let it sizzle while you eyeball it (twenty seconds or so)then put in bhendi. Stir fry on high for three minutes, then lower heat to medium, cover and let it cook for five minutes more.
Lift lid, test for doneness by poking the fattest bhendi with a sharp knife, then add salt...eyeballing the bhendi of course...mix, leave for another minute.
Eat hot or cold...it is delicious and so easy.

Talking about eyeballing, our parents and grandparents gave us recipes like this. As a teenager I used to wonder how I would ever get anything right if all my Mum's recipes were: Salt is added 'after looking at the vegetables' or 'dittanga', meaning 'correctly for the dish'. I wanted it in spoons and look at me now...daring to give a recipe just like my mother.

She used to make a bhendi dish with chopped bhendi, seasoned with mustard seeds, and fried almost crisp, theonly other ingredients being salt and chilli powder.

As children, we also had bhendi sambar and bhendi pulsu...curry in a hot, sour tamarind sauce.


easycrafts said...

We use the same ingredients too..just that we skip onions and use sunflower oil instead of olive...nice blog

Cynthia said...

Okra is one of my favourite vegetables. I eat it twice a week.

Alice P said...

I looove bindi and this recipe sounds finger-licking good!
keep those recipes coming

lan said...

okra is not a favorite but your recipe is simple enough that i might try it!