Friday, May 29, 2009

Two for a Company with Bitter gourd and Okra

Bittergourd and okra have been two of my favourite vegetables over the couple of years and greens of course or else they’d feel left out ;) . There are a few typical of dishes/recipes which come to mind when we think of karela and bhindi. Looking for different recipes apart from the usual ones has become a habit now. So that’s what I did….before I begin here’s something I’d like to tell all of u… I am bit by the blog bug too!! ;) I read many posts from my fellow foodie friends saying that blogging has become an obsession. Recipe inventions while travelling and thinking spice round the clock…actually even in dreams :) has become “normal” I thank God for this as am not alone :)
In this context, while hunting for something which hasn’t been made in my kitchen I found 2 recipes which fitted the tag of zara hatke :). Not only did I love the way these two very different dishes tasted but also admired the way it looked resting in the serving bowls. Without much ado, let me proceed to the recipes ….Read on

Sliced Okra Bathed in Buttermilk/Bhindi Kadi
Recipe source: 660 curries


2 cups fresh okra, rinsed, dried, ends trimmed and cut into 1” length
4 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp chickpea flour/besan
2 tbsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds/methi
2 tbsp ghee/melted butter/oil
1 tbsp ginger-chilli paste ( I added this to balance the dominant sweet taste)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves with tender stems
10-12 fresh curry leaves


Whisk the buttermilk, chickpea flour, sugar, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and ginger-green chilli paste together in a medium sized bowl avoiding any lumps. Stir in coriander leaves and curry leaves.

Heat ghee/butter/oil in a large saucepan over medium- high heat. Sprinkle the cumin and fenugreek seeds into the pan and cook until they sizzle and turn reddish brown and fragrant.

Immediately add okra/bhendi and stir fry till they acquire light brown colouration and their ridged sides, 8-10 minutes

Pour in spiced buttermilk mixture and stir once or twice to deglaze the pan. Lower the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, until the okras are fork- tender and the curry has thickened slightly. 10-12 minutes.
The colour transforms from a pale cream coloured curry to a robust sun-yellow. This is the sign of doneness. Switch off the flame and serve hot with rice/ roti.

Gujarathi Karela Sabji
Source: googled and arrived at

Ingredients :
3 medium Bitter gourds, peeled and cut into 3 pieces each
1 small onion, sliced
1 tomato, diced
½ tsp coriander leaves to garnish

For the stuffing:
½ tsp salt
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chickpea flour/besan
1 tbsp crushed jaggery
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp coriander leaves, chopped

For the gravy:
1 tsp oil
½ tsp garlic paste
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp jaggery
½ tsp mustard seeds

Cut a slit into each bitter gourd piece and remove the seeds

Mix the stuffing ingredients with a little water and make a thick paste

Stuff each bitter gourd piece with this paste and steam it for about 20 minutes or till cooked and tender.

Heat oil in a shallow frying pan add mustard seeds, once it starts to pop add garlic paste, onions and fry till translucent.

Add the tomatoes, spices for the gravy. Cook till tomatoes soften and thicken the gravy.

Add the steamed bitter gourd and toss gently to bind in with the gravy.Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Once done, take it off the flame garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice/roti

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Methi chana

Having a bunch of methi (fenu greek) leaves to finish, I made a simple side dish which turned out very flavourful and tasty. The Balchao masala ( red chili -vinegar paste)) made the taste of the dish turn around :) and added the rocking spice factor. Salt and aamchur powder in the right quantiy brought the perfectness to the taste. Here's the recipe.


1 cup Black chickpeas (kala chana), soaked overnight and pressure cooked, drained, the water conserved for cooking.
1-2 Potatoes, cooked, peeled, cubed
1 bunch Methi leaves, cleaned , chopped, open-cooked in water till cooked(colour changed to dark green),drain the water and set aside the cooked methi leaves.
1 tsp cumin seeds.
1 onion, finely chopped.
1 tomato, finely chopped.
salt to taste.
2 tbsp oil

For the masala paste:
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp balchao masala, here's the link from Lisa's blog
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp aamchur powder (dry mango powder)
*Mix all the masala paste ingredients with 2-3 tsps of water in a bowl and set it aside.

1. Heat oil in a kadhai/wok and add cumin seeds. Once they begin to pop add the onions and fry till translucent.
2. Add the tomatoes and fry till they become soft.
3. Now add the masala paste, salt , potatoes, chana and fry for sometime.
4. Add the methi leaves, conserved water obtained from cooking chana( u can add a little more water if u want) mix thoroughly.
5. Taste and adjust the salt and aamchur powder if necessary.
6. Cook till the gravy thickens depending on the desired consitency.
7. Serve hot with roti/puri/rice.