I had organised an event related to work sometime last year, and when I was deciding on the menu with the banquet manager at the hotel, he suggested I try this dry sabzi. The name got me curious and when I asked him what it was like, he said to wait till I tasted it! He did assure me that everyone would love it. So I took his word for it, and went with Dilliwale Bhindi fry, and I’m glad I did, because that was the beginning of a new love story with this karram-kurram sabzi! The crunchiest, choicest, baby bhindis I had ever had, and they had this lingering tangy taste I couldn’t get enough of! I took the liberty of approaching the banquet manager to get me the recipe from the chef, which he promptly did. How sweet of them both! This sabzi cooks very often in my kitchen now and is one of the top items in our comfort foods’ list.
- Baby Bhindis/Okra/Ladies finger – 3/4th kilo (it reduces to fill a mere small bowl once done)
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 2 tsps (adjust to suit your taste)
- Salt – to taste
- Lime – 1/2 no (cut into 2-3 slices and de-seeded)
- Oil – 4 tbsps
- Wash the bhindis and pat dry. Spread on one day’s opened-up newspaper to absorb any extra moisture and leave under the fan for a good 15-20 minutes.
- Once the bhindis are thoroughly dry, cut into oblong pieces (like in the picture just above). Before you start cutting, please ensure that the chopping board, knife and bowl you put the cut pieces into are all bone-dry. Else, you’ll end up with a goey mass and will have to satisfy yourself with it, in place of a crunchy sabzi!
- Once all the bhindis are chopped, transfer to a microwave safe bowl. Pour 2 tbsps oil and using two spatulas, give the bhindis a stir so that all the pieces are evenly coated with the oil.
- Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes till the bhindis are near cooked.
- In a wok, heat the remaining 2 tbsps oil and give the pan a gentle swirl so that the entire surface of the pan is well coated with oil.
- Add the nearly done bhindis to the wok and stir fry for 5 minutes on a medium flame.
- Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Stir well to coat all the bhindi pieces.
- Allow to cook on a high flame, stirring once every minute or two.
- When the bhindis are fully cooked, thrown in the lime slices. Continue to stir fry on high, while gently squeezing the lime juice with the spatula every now and then. Take care to stir continuously.
- After about 10 minutes, you should feel the bhindis turning really light while stirring. Keep it on for another 2-3 minutes, while continuously stirring.
- Remove from flame and serve the crunchy-tangy sabzi with piping hot rasam and rice. Perfect-o comfort-o food-o!