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Simple Spices

For today’s post, we will travel back to a part of India that we have visited many times before in the course of our culinary journeys… a region that really knows how to combine simple everyday spices and cold-pressed Mustard Oil to create magical flavours even with humdrum vegetables. Yes, we are visiting Punjab once again and this time around, we will be exploring a dish prepared with ladyfinger (Bhindi).

For those of you out there who don’t care much for ladyfinger, you are in for a surprise. The recipe we will be sharing today will help you to experience ladyfinger in a completely new way – by adding the tingling sensation of multiple spices along with the warm, enticing flavour of Mustard Oil.

The dish we will be making today is called Bhindi Masala. It is a popular side dish, loved and relished across thousands of Punjabi homes.

Here are the ingredients that you will require.

Ingredients:

  1. Ladyfinger (Bhindi): 500 grams

  2. Green Chillies: 2

  3. Mustard Oil: 4 tablespoons

  4. Cumin (Jeera) Seeds: Half a teaspoon

  5. Asafoetida (Heeng): Just a pinch

  6. Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 3 teaspoons

  7. Dry Mango Powder (Amchur): 2 teaspoons

  8. Fennel (Saunf) Powder: 3 teaspoons

  9. Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: Half a teaspoon

  10. Red Chilli Powder: Just a pinch

  11. Salt: to taste

The quantities mentioned above are for serving four persons. Adjust the quantities proportionately to suit the number of servings that you require.

Preparation:

Wash and dry the ladyfingers, preferably in sunlight, if possible. Once the ladyfingers are dry, cut the ends off each ladyfinger. Discard the ends. Then slit each ladyfinger lengthwise.

Method:

Heat the Mustard Oil in a large pan on a High flame. After some time, the oil will reach its smoking point and start releasing streams of aromatic white smoke. Your Mustard Oil is now ready for you to start cooking. Turn the flame down to Medium.

To the hot oil add the asafoetida, cumin and whole green chillies. Sauté the spices for a minute or so.

Now add the ladyfinger pieces and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.

Next, add the coriander powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Stir well to mix all the ingredients, ensuring that the ladyfinger pieces are evenly coated with the powdered spices.

Now add the turmeric powder and stir to mix the turmeric evenly with the rest of the ingredients.

Reduce the flame to Low and cover the pan. Let the contents cook slowly. At regular intervals, remove the cover and stir the contents to ensure that the ladyfinger pieces don’t stick to the bottom of the pan and get burnt.

Next, add the dry mango powder and stir to mix well. Cover the pan and cook for another three minutes or so. Then add the fennel powder and stir-fry till the ladyfinger pieces are done. Then switch the flame off.

Your traditional Punjabi Bhindi Masala is now ready. Serve it hot. In Punjab this is usually a side dish that is eaten with Chapatti or Puri.

You can find more recipes at : https://www.purioilmills.com/recipes-in-english/


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