Masala Bhindi (Okra)

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Okra or bhindi is also called lady’s finger…probably because of its long and tapered shape.  A simple and tasty dry dish, it goes well with soft rotis(Indian bread).  There are many ways to make okra – either with onions, stuffed (bharwan) or with only dry masalas(spices).  This easy recipe does not use onions but tastes tangy because of the mango powder and other masalas.  Okra has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes.  It is known for it’s high vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate content,(although not quite as high as kiwi). Further, okra has lots of fiber, which helps with digestion, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps to control the rate at which sugar is absorbed.

 How to make:

1/2 lb okra 

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp mango powder

1 tbsp besan (gram flour)

Pinch of hing (asfoetida powder)

Salt to taste

1 1/2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper

How to make:

1.  Wash okra and pat dry completely.  Trim both ends of the okra and slice lengthwise in halves.

2.  Heat the oil in a pan.  When hot, add the cumin seeds and asfoetida.  When the cumin seeds start crackling, add the okra.

3.  Stir for a minute and then reduce the heat and cover and cook for about 3 minutes.

4.  Remove the cover and add the coriander powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder.  Stir well.

5.  Now add the besan (gram flour) and mix well.  Continue to cook the okra stirring from time to time till it becomes tender.

6.  Add salt, mango powder and the chopped bell pepper and cook for another minute.  Serve hot.

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