Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Indian Cooking School

So, the only cuisine that's more exciting to me than Thai food, is Indian food. I haven't cooked much Indian food, until now! I ran across this awesome website. This woman, Manjula, cooks vegetarian Indian dishes, doing video tutorials on all of them. She makes them look easy and takes the mystery out of the spices/flavor combinations. I will sometimes spend an hour just watching her videos (I no longer get Food Network on cable :( ....

Last night, I tried one of her dishes for the first time. Okra is a family favorite. The past 3 summers we have grown it in our garden. Usually we just boil it and eat it, no spices, no fat, just goodness! But I ran across this video when I googled okra recipes. Yumo! I even let Luke lick the spices off the okra and he loved it!

I had to make some substitutions because I didn't have 2 of the spices. Here is her recipe with my modifications :

Bhindi Masala – Spicy Okra

Serves 2 to 3.

Bhindi Masala Spicy Okra


  • 1/2 lb okra (bhindi)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • Pinch of asafetida (hing) ** (I didn't have this, I looked online for substitutions, and used some garlic and onion powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mango powder (amchoor) **(Also didn't have this, I sprinkled some lemon juice instead)
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour (besan) (optional) *Didn't use*
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped yellow bell pepper(optional) *Didn't use*
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper(optional) *Didn't use*


Wash the okra and pat dry. Make sure to completely dry the okra as wet okra will be sticky when cutting.

Cut off the both ends of the okra, and slice lengthwise in halves. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Test the heat by adding one cummin seed to the oil; if seed crack right away oil is ready.

Add the cumin seeds and asafetida (hing). When the cumin seeds crack, add the okra.

Stir for a minute and reduce the heat to medium.

Cover the okra for two to three minutes.

Remove the cover and add the coriander powder, red cayenne pepper and turmeric.

Next add gram flour (besan) and continue to stir-fry until the okra is tender. Add the salt, mango powder and bell peppers, cook for another minute. Salt is added last to avoid the okra becoming lacy.


  1. Adding colorful bell pepper is a great garnish for the okra and adds flavor to the dish.
  2. You can substitute the bell pepper with sliced tomatoes as a garnish.
  3. You can also slice the okra in 1/4 inch pieces and follow the same method above.

I also used another Tasty Bite sauce to make a Chicken, Pepper and onion Tikka Masala. Served over brown rice. The only thing missing was some naan! Hope this inspires ya'll to try something new, it's so easy! Go on, give your taste-buds a party!


  1. wow Lyg, this is impressive. Good job I'm sure your guys love trying out your tasty dishes. I wish I was more into cooking. I hate to say this but I don't even know how to make home made soup. My goal is to make a zuppa Toscana this weekend, it's Chris' favorite. I hope I don't crash and burn on my first soup attempt. hehe

  2. oh my goodness, the okra dish looks delish!! i don't think i've ever cooked okra, but i know i like it. i know what i'll be trying out this weekend. :)

  3. by the way, i LOVE that you're blogging more frequently! you know i love reading your blog - keep them coming!