Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bharela Bhinda nu shaak - Stuffed Okra

When I was a new bride, my MIL emailed me this recipe when I had pestered her for some authentic recipes. When she came to visit us later, I made this shaak one morning. When I came back from work, she said, "You get 100% marks!". She sure is very generous with her compliments, but her recipe is the real winner.

Bharela Bhinda nu Shaak
Stuffed Okra
Ingredients
1 lb okra, trimmed, cut 2" pieces, slit in between

Stuffing
1/2 cup daria/dalya/puffed chana daal
1 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp oil + 1tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Garnish
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander leaves

Method
0. Powder 1/2 cup daria/dalya/puffed chana daal without adding any water.
1. Mix all the dry ingredients for stuffing.
2. Stuff the above masala in the okra. There should be leftover masala to be added later.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok/kadai - preferably nonstick. Add the ingredients for tempering.
4. As the seeds sizzle, carefully place the stuffed okra in a single layer - as much as possible. (Double layer won't hurt!). Sprinkle the leftover masala all over.
5. Saute for 2-3 minutes. The masala will soak up the oil.
6. Switch the gas to low. Cover the wok/kadai with a lid. Keep 1/4 cup water on the lid. Let it cook on the low flame for about 20 minutes. Open the lid, add the water on top in the wok. Stir. and cover again. Let it cook for another 10 minutes. Adjust for salt.
7. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil. Saute for 5 minutes.
8. Switch off the gas. Stir in lemon juice - if using.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Note -
1. Traditionally, this shaak is made in iron kadai. and also needs lots of oil. I tried to cut it down using nonstick kadai.

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