Bhindi ki Sabji

Okra , Lady finger different names for our dear bhindi in english.

Reminds me of my college days. When-ever I carried bhindi ki sabji and fulka in my tiffin, friends sitting in the last rows used to finish it off stealthily during classes. Recently I met my best friend and she did not forget to mention how tasty my bhabhi used to make it.

Though its a very simple sabji, it requires a few techniques right from the beginning i.e. buying bhindi. Look for green with a smooth textured medium sized bhindi. Snip its tip if it breaks off easily then its tender and if it bends then not worth buying.
Wash the bhindi and pat it dry with a clean dry cloth. We don't want any water droplets on it as it increases its stickiness.
Another very important point is that never cut the bhindi horizontally on a chopping board.
Bhindi can have worms in it. If bhindi is fresh then chances are minimal but better to check individually. I always cut bhindi one by one holding it vertically so that I can see inside it after every slice I cut.






Serves :2

Ingredients:


  • 250 gms ladyfingers/okra/bhindi
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds powder 
  • 2 green chili
  • salt to taste


Method:

  1. Cut off the crown of bhindi , snip its end and then cut the bhindi into small rounds.
  2. Make one slit along the length of green chili. We are using whole chili here so that one can easily distinguish between chili and bhindi and can remove chili from the plate, if spice is not desired.
  3. Heat oil in a thick bottom pan.
  4. Add cumin seeds and allow to crackle.
  5. Add cut bhindi along with green chili and cook for 4-5 min turning frequently for even cooking. if not using a non-stick pan then you may have to keep sctratching the bottom of the pan else stickiness from bhindi will stick to the pan and burn. 
  6. When the bhindi is cooked add all the remaining ingredients , mix and cook for another 2 min.


Serve with chapatis or dal-chawal.

Paneer Butter Masala

Cottage cheese cooked in rich buttery flavorful tomato gravy. I have tried making this dish without using any fat in microwave and was quite ok but then I should be calling it just Tamatar-paneer as will not justify its name butter-masala. So forget calories indulge and just enjoy this famous buttery-creamy-tangy-aromatic veg side dish, found in every north Indian Restaurant menu .



I don't want to use too many  ingredients or steps for the dish to look complicated. I like to cook simple. This is my simplest version of this recipe with minimum required ingredients but no compromise with taste. If you are cooking a bigger batch like for 15-20 people then I would suggest to boil and puree cashew-nuts and tomatoes separately just to ensure that everything is cooked properly.

Paneer/cottage cheese can be store bought or home-made. For home-made recipe click the link Paneer.



Serves :3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter or more if you like
  • 1 inch piece ginger chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 medium tomatoes , diced
  • 10-12 cashewnuts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kasoori methi
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp sugar optional
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • salt to taste
  • 100 gm Paneer


Method:

  1. Cut the paneer into 1 inch squares or triangles and keep aside.
  2. Heat Oil in a wok or pan and add butter and bay leaf.
  3. Add  ginger and garlic and saute for a min.
  4. Add cashew nuts saute for 30 sec and add tomatoes.
  5. Add chili powder and salt and cook until the tomatoes are mushy.  You can add very little water at this point for the tomatoes to cook. When the fat starts to separate and water evaporates switch off the gas. If the tomatoes are sour then add sugar else skip it.
  6. Cool the mixture and grind into a smooth puree.
  7. Strain the puree to get a smooth texture and put it back in the pan.
  8. Switch on the gas and add 1/2 cup water and Paneer pieces and simmer for 2 -3 min stirring  in between.
  9. Finish by adding garam masala, cream and kasoori methi.
  10. Serve hot with Naan, tandoori or other Indian Bread.


Alu-tamatar ki sabji

Potato-king of all vegetables. A great companion to most of the vegetables. Mix it with any other vegetable and a new sabji is ready.

This is a very jhatpat  kind of sabji can be prepared in no time. No time to boil potato just prick them here and there using a fork or knife and put in a microwave and cook for 4-5 min.on high(2 medium potatoes). By that time can do other preparations.



serves :2

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes boiled or cooked in microwave for 4-5 min 
  • 1 tomato cut into wedges
  • 1 green chili chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • salt to taste


Method:
Peel and cut potatoes in wedges.
Heat oil and add cumin seeds.
when cumin crackles and turns brown Add all the ingredients, mix.
Cover and cook on low heat for 1 min..
serve with roti or rice.

Since its a dry veg, can be packed and carried in tiffins.