Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bhendichya DaNyanchi Amti - Okra seeds curry

I always loved to cook from my early childhood. Of course, those early childhood days went into just observing my grandmothers, mothers  & aunts cooking. But as I grew up, I started collecting recipes. I tend to collect different genre of recipes based on the  different phases in my own life. As a teenager, I was into collecting restaurant recipes. As a new bride, I was into party recipes. Now, as a parent, staying away from family, I am into traditional & forgotten family recipes that I keep learning from my friends and family.

When I go to India, I get to collect many such forgotten recipes. When my friend shared a recipe of Okra seeds, I thought to myself - though I am into traditional recipes, I would never make okra seeds curry. I mean, why in the world would I choose overripe okras to get the seeds out and make a curry? No way!

Well, they say never say never. This summer, I planted okra plant. and unlike last summers, I planted it in the soil. It grew up like Jack and beanstalk plant and there were many okras on top. I couldn't even reach them easily. When my husband got time, he took the okras out from my tall plant. But by then the okras were very ripe, too big  and were difficult to chop. I was so disappointed thinking I wouldn't be able to use my first harvest of okra. At most, I could have just saved the seeds for next years planting. But then I remembered my friend's okra seeds recipe and lo behold, I made this forgotten curry.

Bhendichya DaNyanchi Amti
भेंडीच्या दाण्यांची आमटी
Okra Seeds Curry
1 1/2 cup okra seeds and fresh white parts if they are good
salt to taste

Grind to paste
1/4 cup fresh coconut
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
3-4 cloves garlic

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves, torn
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tbsp Kolhapuri Masala/Chutney (or per taste)
* Coconut paste

Thickener/Indian Roux
1 tbsp jwari/jondhLa/jowar/sorghum flour
1/2 cup water

1. Remove the green outer skin of okra. Take off whole okra seeds. Chop white part of okra if white part is fresh and can be cut easily.
2. Grind coconut with cilantro and garlic cloves. This paste does not need to be too smooth.
3. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients till curry leaves. As they splutter, add onion and saute till onion is soft. Add Kolhapuri masala and coconut paste. Saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add okra seeds and white parts of Okra - if using. Add 1 cup water. Bring to boil.
5. Switch gas to low. Cover and let it cook.
6. Add salt to taste.
7. In a small container, whisk sorghum flour with water till there are no lumps.
8. Drizzle slowly to the boiling curry while stirring continuously with other hand.
9. Simmer for 5 minutes.
10. Adjust water consistency as needed. Switch off the gas.
11. Serve with Bhakri

Note -
1. This curry is meant for overripe okra where you can't use the entire okra. So we use the seeds and white inside part if they are fresh.
2. Okra seeds have a unique taste.

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