This is the second favorite bhaaji from my childhood. The first was/is always batatyachi partun bhaaji/Potato stir fry. I even remember how bhendichi bhaaji became my favorite. I remember it was at my aunt's house. She was feeding my older cousin which means that time I must be a toddler or a preschooler. She asked me if I would join my cousin for a delicious meal of bhendichi bhaaji with varan bhaat toop and I just grimaced. My aunt told me that she would feed one morsel to me and one to my cousin. I just thought that it was a splendid idea. and thus I tasted something other than potato for the first time. I just don't know how I remember this. Even my aunt doesn't remember it now & I know I am not making this up. But somehow I remember it every time, I make this simple bhendichi bhaaji.
Stir fried Okra
Okra - chopped about 4 cups
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
2-3 kokums, rinsed (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1. Heat oil in a big nonstick kadai or wok.
2. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. As the seeds splutter, add okra and stir. The oil will be absorbed immediately. Saute for 2 minutes. Add another 1 tbsp of oil. Saute on a high flame for 5 minutes.
4. Switch the gas to medium. Let it cook till okra is cooked and is crunchy. The darker the color, better the taste. Also, more oil = crispier okra!
5. Once it's cooked, add salt, sugar, chili powder and kokum - if using.
6. Saute for 5 minutes.
7. Serve with chapati or rice & Amti or varaN.
1. More oil makes this bhaaji even more delicious. So after making this bhaji using plenty of oil - compared to my daily meager quota, I pour this bhaji on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. This step is obviously optional. This is just my own cynical way of controlling too much oil intake.
2. Use iron kadai for a better flavor. Once cooked, take it out in a serving bowl.
3. Kokum reduces the amount of sticky, slimy nature of okra. If you pour lot of oil, the stickiness will go away as the okra turns crunchy. but with less oil, kokum may be useful for removing it.