Bhindi a.k.a Lady finger as it is known in India or Okra in Western world, is a very nutritious vegetable. Its quite versatile too. You can make it spicy, stuffed, fried and even mixed with other vegetables to prepare Sindhi kadhi. My favourite, however is the simplest of all versions. The no onion garlic Bhindi alu subzi. I love the simple sabzi with crispy Parathas at side and some spicy raita. Its one of the best combo ever 🙂
I sometimes do add a bit of garlic though but mostly I do this one without it. the only problem with bhindi is the chopping time. I hate it, absolutely hate it! Specially the time when the sliminess of the okra sticks to my fingers while chopping. It puts me off immediately. But just for the love of taste and health, I still prepare it almost every week.
Over years though, I have learnt a few tricks to keep the sliminess at minimum when cooking Okra. I hope they will help you too:
How to remove the sliminess from Bhindi / Lady finger / Okra:
- Wash bhindi thoroughly, rubbing each one individually between fingers in running water. Spread them on a dry surface, preferably on a cotton cloth or kitchen towel so the extra water is absorbed.
- Wait to cut until it’s almost time to cook it. Letting it sit around makes it slimier. Pat dry your hands completely before you sit down to chop it. If your hands are wet, Okra will get even more slippery.
- When chopped, try and keep the pieces big in size. The smaller the pieces are, they more they release the lace.
- Another way is to cut the okra length wise instead of cutting it in in small pieces. This doesn’t cut the seeds, which is the main culprit oozing the slime.
- When cooking, squeeze half a lemon or lime at the time when its almost cooked. The acidity in the lemon or lime juice will react with the liquid from the okra and reduce its slippery texture.
- If not lemon, try and add any other source of acid to the dish like tomatoes, vinegar, yogurt etc. to cut down on the sliminess.
- You may also dry fry the okra pieces or shallow fry them with little oil before adding to the actual dish, this will help in keeping the crispy texture intact
- Add salt towards the end of cooking and not in the start. Salt makes bhindi release more liquid.
Ok, so guys. Hopefully you will apply these tips and tricks to remove the lace from the lady finger. Let me know which one worked for you and if you have any further suggestions that I can add in here. Off to the simple recipe now.
What you need?
- ½ kg bhindi, washed thoroughly and dried. Then chopped small.
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp salt OR to taste
- Juice from half a lemon
- 2 tbsp Cooking oil
How to make?
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan or wok (kadhai). Tip in cumin seeds and fennel seeds and let them sizzle. Add in chopped potatoes and bhindi and mix everything well. Cook this for about 5-6 minutes on medium-high flame.
Open the lid, add in all the spices EXCEPT salt. Mix and cook further for 7-8 minutes on medium flame. Open, check if the bhindi is 70-80% cooked. Add in salt and lemon juice and fold everything gently this time since the bhindi must have started releasing liquid by now. Cook for a further few minutes till both bhindi and alu get cooked properly.
Check and adjust the seasoning if required. Serve hot with phulka/roti, lehsuni dal and raita aside.
Although there is not much to fry, the quantity of oil is still a bit more than the usual in the recipe. That’s because bhindi needs more oil to get cooked properly. The lager the pieces are, the more the oil to be used.
The size of the potatoes cubes should be small so they get cooked quickly and properly.
Another lady finger recipe which is popular in my household is this Bhindi ka raita. Dont go by the sound of it, it is truly delicious!