Yesterday I posted a photo of okra in gravy. Bhindi ka saalan, as we like to call it, which I think sounds far more luscious than okra in gravy, even if it is the same thing.
Bhindi (or okra) and our family have a history. The vegetable is a favorite. My husband is happy to eat it on a daily basis. It is a good thing I am not that crazy about it, although I like it. Which is why I try and find different variations and recipes to use bhindi. My son also loves the vegetable, and is totally on my side when it comes to the variety part. As a result, we alternate between the regular sliced and cooked bhindi that goes with rotis and parathas. But we really prefer the kurkuri or crisp bhindi and the bhindi ka saalan far more.
Today, I’ll share the bhindi ka saalan recipe with you. As exotic as it looks and sounds, it really is easy to make. There are two variations of this recipe, and this one is the easier one, because sometimes you just don’t want to stress over an ingredient that is not available, eh?
Bhindi ka saalan aka Okra in gravy
What you will need, aka ingredients
My niece finds it rather hilarious when she sees me gather all the ingredients before I make a dish. It is not as though I’d forget something, but with the constant chattering at home, punctuated by the doorbell and phone calls, I think it is a really good idea to to get all I need together so that I can multi-task at peace.
So get the following together:
250 grams medium sized bhindi
To grind into paste for the gravy
- 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- Half an inch piece of ginger
- 5 garlic pearls
- 2 green chilies
- 2 tablespoons of curd/yogurt
- 2 cloves (lavang)
- 1 green cardamom
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 strand mace
Other ingredients for flavoring
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi
- 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder)
- 2-3 tablespoons of oil to saute the slit bhindi
- 2 tablespoons of oil for the gravy
- Salt to taste
How to make Bhindi ka saalan
- Rinse and dry the bhindi well
- Chop off the heads of the bhindi
- Slit the bhindi vertically, till about half an inch from the tail, so that each bhindi is slit but held together by the tail
- Grind the following into a paste: Tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilies, yogurt/curd, cloves, cardamom, half an inch cinnamon stick and the strand of mace) and keep the paste aside.
- In a large pan, heat the oil
- Saute the bhindi in batches until they are almost cooked and keep aside.
- In the same pan, now add the bayleaf and fry
- Add the chopped onions and saute
- Add the turmeric+chili+coriander+jeera powder and stir well
- Now add the paste to the pan and mix. It will sputter enthusiastically, hence the large pan.
- Cook for a few minutes till you see the oil separating from the paste.
- Add salt to taste
- Add a cup of water–depending on the preferred thickness of the gravy
- Add the bhindi
- Cover and cook on a low flame until the bhindi is cooked–don’t let it get mushy. Usually takes about four minutes
- Check to see if done. It will turn into a nice rich color.
- Add the crushed kasuri methi
- Turn off the stove
- Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
- Indulge with rice or roti
- I sometimes substitute ginger and garlic with ginger garlic paste. Don’t judge — it tastes just as good
- It is okay to forget the kasuri methi
- Dress with a dash of cream–tastes good. Although…my son prefers to simply spoon the cream directly into his mouth.
- You can also choose to chop the bhindi into large pieces instead of slitting them.
- While adding the paste to the pan, I turn off the stove as it sputters like crazy.
- Adjust the amount of water based on the thickness of gravy you prefer. I add two cups and it still turns out pretty thick. I think it is the heavy pan I use.
- Bhindi ka saalan tastes great with roti as well as rice, with a dollop of ghee.
- Store left overs if any, in the fridge. Heat and eat the next day.
Questions? Please ask! ♥