Steamed Banana Semolina Cake & Post A quote Challenge!


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Over-ripe Bananas sitting on the platter, what to do? Any ideas? I refer my Aji’s potli (Grandma’s bag of magic) full of simple recipes. And, make it time saving, economic, steamed, eggless and meatless too! Sounds a trip to heaven, doesn’t it? Believe me I cannot take the smell of meat and eggs on my dishes and gadgets! I just have to sanitize everything perfectly well until there is no trace of the foul smell. Monica Gellar I can beat you with my freakiness! Any other OCD’s for company??:P

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So without much commotion, I m going to share a detailed recipe of this healthy cake J

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 ripe bananas (read over ripe in my case!!)
  • 1 cup. fine Semolina (Rava or Sooji)
  • 1 cup. finely chopped Jaggery (You can substitute with less than or equal amount of sugar).
  • 2 tsps. Cardamom powder
  • 3-4 strands of Saffron.
  • Chopped pistachios (You can add as many or as less. It’s an optional ingredient).
  • 1-2 tsps. Clarified butter (Ghee. It’s optional too. One could use olive oil too).
  • 1 big tbsp. Yoghurt/ Curd.

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Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients well until no lumps remain (not the nuts) and set aside for 5 minutes.The consistency of this batter is pretty thick (and sticky too) and not anything like the usual cake batter. So don’t get scared when you don’t see any folds of batter on tapping the spatula.Featured image
  • Add the chopped nuts.
  • Oil spray a steel container or the usual cake pan. I did not use any greasing and added a butter paper underneath into the pan.

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  • Spoon the batter into the cake pan.
  • Add water into the pressure cooker or steamer and set the cake pan inside it.Just cover the whistle hole with a bowl or just Al foil.
  • Allow it to steam cook for 8-15 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

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  • Garnish with nuts and clarified butter!

I looked forward to summer vacations at my Aji’s place in Bombay. She would make this cake. What made it surreal was she made it with so much care. And truth be told, it was absolutely real. We did not have cameras and camera phones back then. I ponder if having them then could have helped me treasure the essence of my childhood for future. Reality is that memories may fade but the essence remains within the soul.But then I look at myself and see how she has passed on her looks to me 🙂

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My Aji stays across the globe. Every trip to the motherland my heart sinks another inch to see her grow older and frailer.

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Chanakya rightly said, he who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away; but he who is not in our heart is far though he might really be near by”.

I feel it better than ever before. Having lost so many dear ones in less than two years in my immediate family, the feeling of seeing incomplete houses is setting in. But, life goes on, doesn’t it?

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I have trained my brain to be thankful to the bag of goodies life has given me so far. And, having a family like mine in itself is a boon.

A toast of healthy emotional balance to all!

BTW,This is my First entry to the Post A quote Challenge By Sumana 🙂 Thanks again for the opportunity. I wanted to begin my quotes with my aji’s recipe who shares her name with you 🙂

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Coffee-Cinnamon Ice Cream: As Good As It Gets!


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I ❤ Bombay and honestly don’t need a reason to miss it! I miss it the most during hot & dry summers here. (Really, you miss perspiring? Unbelievable must you think J. I can see eyes balls rolling already :D!). One has got to be born there to feel the empathy and love of hot-humid weathers!

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Summers were long and fun. I longed to eat Aai’s homemade Coffee ice cream & Mango ice cream. She made often during the summer holidays thanks to my tonsillitis (that made cold foods a taboo through the rest of the year as I would quickly fall sick). But thanks to her, I could enjoy homemade preservative free Ice Creams.

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So here’s a recipe of a hassle-free, no techno-gadget friendly recipe of my Aai’s (mother’s) Coffee ice cream with a twist of Cinnamon added by me!

 Ingredients: (10-12 servings)

  • 5 litres 1% organic milk (approximately 0.39 gallons. Separate 1/4th cup milk from it and set aside).

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  • In a saucepan, bring the milk to boil.
  • While it boils, add the ¼ cup milk in a cup and stir in all dry ingredients. Microwave for upto 1 minute or until the milk is lukewarm.
  • Add vanilla extract to the lukewarm milk in the cup and mix well until frothy.
  • Pour the liquid into the boiling milk.
  • Keep stirring the mixture in the saucepan (over medium heat).
  • Reduce the mixture until it begins to thicken (due to the custard powder).
  • Set the pan off the flame (Switch the burner off :P, add the bourbon now and stir quickly if making alcoholic version).
  • Pour into suitable cups or bowls and allow it to cool down.
  • Place them in freezer uncovered.
  • Fork them after 20 minutes and cover the bowls. (So, we don’t ice the cream totally and make it crunchy.)
  • Few hours later, heaven on earth has just landed into your tummy! Top it with crisp cornflakes! Gives a good crunch to every bite.

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Now some would be curious to know why I chose to use Nescafe when there are other sophisticated (dark-medium) coffee beans and powders available in the American market?

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Aai always uses it and to my mind that’s the way it should be! There are recipes that are branded and then there are those that are Aai made (made by my mother). So apart from the addition of cinnamon (which was to elevate the coffee flavor and It did) nothing has been modified in the original recipe of my Aai.

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I sincerely hope (& pray) that the coffee ice cream brings the love and affection of our nuclear families. The love that exists but we fail to express. And the reason for us to stay up is the late night chatter and never ending conversations with loved ones. Dinners I feel get the family together and desserts bond them! Do you agree? 🙂

I came across this beautiful quote by an unknown writer, “Conscience keeps more people awake than coffee” or so we hope (I must add).

May conscience be with all of us, active and alert as it ever could be!

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Let it be clear and clutter free so we can reach out to the extent of mankind to heal, nurture, endure and love. Stay awake with a compassionate conscience and bowl of Coffee-Cinnamon Ice cream. And indulge guilt free with a clear conscience! The whole idea behind sharing the quote was pure Gluttony :P!

Déjà-Vu?

Chickpea Crusted Eggplant hearts on a Platter


Do you believe in the logic behind ”What’s in the name?” I absolutely do.

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In my defense of POV, I’d say nothing is in the name, the soul lies in the identity of the object (living or not. BTW, food is a living creation for me J)

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On that note of having people confused, let me further say that the recipe I am presenting today is my personal version of its traditional and famous counterparts made with passion, love as well as finesse across India. And needless to say that such a commonly made delicacy has no universal name or taste, but a common emotion! Oh yes, food has emotions and human mind associates food with memories.

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I would stay over at my grandmother’s house every Friday since every Saturday was early morning school day unlike the other days when school started at 10 am. My Aji (my mother’s mother up and bouncing at 89) would make Vangyache Kaap” very often during my sleepovers at their place. The prime reason being I simply adored them! My granny called it the “Brahmin’s fish” (Brahmins, do not eat non-vegetarian traditionally,I m an exception :P)!

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Sounds extremely odd to most mothers, isn’t it? I had surrendered to my mother’s strict discipline about eating all vegetables early on and eventually learnt to like them. So, I fell for eggplant/brinjal too!

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However I renamed my version of the traditional Marathi Vangyache kaap” as “Chickpea Crusted Eggplant Hearts on a Platter”. Sliced eggplant dipped in chickpea flour and minimal spices, elegantly cooked on a flat pan! Isn’t that such a hearty sight? Hence the name! Don’t mind the re-naming please!

And now without any more of blabber or Bakar (local word used for chatter in Bombay) I detail the ingredients and method for this delicacy!

Ingredients: (approx. 10 slices-3 persons)

  • 1 medium sized eggplant/brinjal (sliced about 10mm thick, washed and soaked in water)
  • 4 tbsps. Chickpea flour/besan.
  • 2-3 tsps. Ajwain/Carom seeds.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 2 tsps. Asafoetida.
  • 2 tsps. Turmeric powder.
  • 2 tsps. Garam masala /all spices powder.
  • 1-2 tsps. Red chili powder.
  • Olive oil Spray.

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Note: The carom seeds, asafetida and turmeric help balance the heaviness of eggplant. The eggplant is heavy on tummy or gives gases but its very subjective. To make it lighter on tummy and ease out any trouble later, the addition of these three ingredients plays a vital role.

 Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Lightly dap the moisture from the sliced eggplant with a tissue.
  • Coat the eggplant slices with the dry mixture.
  • Heat the flat pan on a medium flame. Spray the olive oil spray on it evenly. Use a brush if required to coat the pan.
  • Lay the slices on the pan.
  • Spray the topside with oil and turn.
  • Allow it to cook for up to 1.5 minutes on each side and spray while flipping to the side not facing the pan.
  • The eggplant would change colour to a beautiful golden from the white and the sides would turn darker.
  • Push a knife or edge of the spatula to check if the eggplant has cooked well.If the fork moves in easily, its done!

 It could be an appetizer or a sidekick with rice or bread! But,frankly it could be whatever you want it to be 🙂

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Good food needs no words, it’s a language by itself. So, relax and relish. Enjoying food and creating aromatic memories is more important. Have it with wine or Sol-kadhi (Maharashtrian Mangosteen Soup) as long as it delights you, nothing else matters!

What say? J

Butterless Spaghetti Makhanwala with Shammi Kabab Meatballs


I love the concept of classic New York style Spaghetti with Meatballs. But it’s rare to find meatballs in Chicken or fish, isn’t it? Here’s how I began to believe otherwise J.

One of my son’s classmates Zo often got Spaghetti with Meatballs in her lunch box. And my son would find ways to convince me to make it. I thought and searched but could not think about a decent scramble for a chicken oriented meatball recipe. We don’t eat red meat so I don’t cook it either. I don’t have an issue if my son decided to eat red meat when he grows up but at the present if he ate and asked me to recreate a dish it would be very difficult. So, it’s more of convenience to opt for Chicken J.

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Through a food group I was introduced to a very talented culinary mind Ritu Shrivastava who shared her recipe for Shammi Kabab once. And my adventurous mind began to fuse an East meets the West recipe! Ritu, thanks for that recipe, it was very generous of you to share your delicious recipe and help me structure the fancies of my boy J. This is to you!

Here is a totally Indian take on the classic. Mine is called Butterless Spaghetti Makhanwala (low calorie tomato based sauce used for Indian delicacies like Butter Chicken etc) with Shammi Kabab meatballs (Indian Chicken mini patties infused with herbs).

Sharing this recipe for my boy of origin who loved it!

Spaghetti Makhanwala (Butterless Spaghetti in Tomato based Sauce)

Makhanwala (literally means loaded with butter and cream) gravy is rich, creamy and extremely flavorful. However, I wanted to make a lighter version of the parent sauce. Here is my version.

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Btw, I always make non-meat stuff first to avoid any cross contamination of uncooked meat and other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized tomatoes.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic.
  • 3 tsps. Cardamom powder.
  • 1 tsp. Garam masala (all spices powder).
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 tsp. kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves to be added as garnish).
  • 2 tbsps. Yoghurt.
  • 3-4 black peppercorns.
  • 5 tbsps. Cashew powdered. (I did not use these. But they would add to the richness of the sauce).
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds.

Method:

  • Blend all the ingredients using very little or no water at all into a smooth sauce.
  • Cook the sauce and bring it to a boil. To enhance richness of taste reduce it to a thick sauce.
  • Set aside.

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For Spaghetti:

  • Drop the Spaghetti into boiling water and follow the instructions on the carton for cooking through. Drain the water, dust salt and drizzle some olive oil.
  • Mix the spaghetti with sauce just before you have to serve. The starch in the pasta thickens up the sauce too soon. So, ideally drop the pasta into the water (simultaneously) when your Shammi kababs are been shallow fried.

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Ritu’s Shammi Kabab (Ground chicken meatballs)

  • 8-10 Organic chicken tenders (skinless).
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic.
  • 1 cup of Cilantro.
  • ¼ cup of Mint leaves.
  • 2 tbsps. Ginger paste.
  • Green chilis (optional)- I added Tandoori Masala and Garam Masala (all spices powder).
  • Salt to taste.
  • Italian Bread Crumbs (my addition).
  • 2-3 tbsps. Italian Basil leaves (optional, my addition)
  • A good grinder.
  • Oil for shallow frying (about 4 tbsp.).

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Method:

  • Ground all the ingredients except oil and crumbs in a grinder. (Ritu had marinated the ground chicken with ginger and garlic paste along with onions. But, I skipped the marinating part and addition of onions. Also I did not add any oil in the ground chicken mixture as she suggested.)
  • Make small patties and roll them into bread crumbs. (Now you can make balls and choose to deep fry them but I am on a healthy diet plus a busy mom, so not going to commit the sin :P).

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  • Heat the oil on a flat pan and shallow fry the patties until crisp (about 7 minutes on each side). But, you can still cut it and find out if they are cooked through or not. I always follow the actual test than follow my gut here. No chances with raw meat!

Serve together!

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This is a healthier and extremely delicious Indian version of the American Classic! This is going in my special heirloom recipe book to be passed on to the next generation!

25,26 & 27,there is a mile to get it even!


I have been super-duper busy over Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Don’t ask! I m going to go on and elaborate it myself anyway :P.

Friday was all about Pranaya’s Graduation dinner!

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The whole day I was excited along with a bunch of 10 other very enthusiastic ladies about the dinner! It was the first dinner after 2012 (my friend’s had pulled me out for drinks after a year and half pregnancy and post) that I was going to have to dress up. Trust me for a mother who really thinks way too much about her post pregnancy appearance and spare sometime for herself to look decent it’s a bigger ordeal than anything else. But, I was feeling good about the whole excitement around the getting ready part! Woke up early and did my 30 day ab challenege (day 5) workout for today, followed by tea and clearing up the dishwasher. My son woke up soon after so did not have enough time to blog in the early quiet hours of the morning.

After the usual chores, we had to visit Walgreens. I locked the door and we went downstairs only to notice that we had dropped our flash card (door security) somewhere. Like headless chickens we kept looking for it downstairs and finally found it inside our house! What a waste of energy! My son enjoyed it thoroughly. As I thought of it, it was really fun :P. We returned our stuff at Walgreens and came home. Udeet was very hungry and I had not catch a breath.

I fixed quick and easy Cheese Parathas for dinner as well as for Udeet’s lunch. I chose to eat a Tomato sandwich. Simple and quick! (I hear you sisters, tomato sandwich sounds such a heavenly treat :P).

It was already 2 by the time we finished lunch! Time just flies with children around. Quickly gave him a wash and put him to sleep. Now, it was a ladies only dinner that I was to attend so had to make my hair look awe-less (from awful :P) too! Washed them and thought I would iron them out once my son went out with husband in the evening. I decided to work on Inspire Us story for the week. However could not compose a draft that could please me.

I would like to thank all of the readers for their fantastic response to Meena’s & Jyothi’s stories. They both have such an inspiring tale that writing them and comprehending them was a big task for me for I was concerned of losing the message while rewording or extrapolating certain aspects of the story. The one I m working on is personally important to my being and hence missed the Saturday mark. But, I hope that such a wonderful audience would understand my gust of emotions and would wait for this one whenever it fits the bill!

Anyway, by the time I was exhausted and looked at the time, it was 4 pm already! I made some hot tea and was about to pour it into cups when Rohan arrived. Udeet woke up with his daddy’s voice! The guys had tea and milk (Udeet would like tea but was given Milk J) and left for the new home (supervision) by 6. Alas I was on my own and started to iron my hair! I was ready in 20 minutes. What next? My excitement was on cloud 9 and killing time was difficult. So decided to put a red nail polish :P! So much for the dignity of vanity J.

Janki arrived in time so we left for Sino’s but stopped at Cute Flowers for a bouquet! We were lucky to get a parking spot in the parking structure! The stars were shining! The other group was going to be late and Meena managed the locomotion with great care J What say Meena?

But it was fun! I enjoy a little glass of Riseling after ages! The food was in moderation but fun was unlimited! I had a blast with the girls! We chatted and yapped but it was fun! The good food and chatter was followed with exercise :P. Me and Janki were climbing up and down to find out the car. The confusing staggered floors! And we laughed some more!

By the time Janki dropped me home it was well over mid-night! Udeet was fast asleep and Rohan was on the verge of! A fun event and I slept like a cushion!

Good habits rarely die, don’t they? J. I woke up at 6.30 am on Saturday morning and did my workout for the 5th day of Ab challenge! I am totally looking forward to doing it every morning! It is exhaustive yet very relieving! I did not wish to be affected by a glass of wine after 25 days of regimen with slow and steady results. I fixed tea for us and milk for Udeet.

We had a long schedule sketched for today!

Have you guys been through same sort of busy routines while renovating houses? We have been running out to hardware stores, stone quarries and lumbers for last few weekends. And yet haven’t been able to finalize on so many things! Is it déjà-vu for all proud home owners?

Our lease in the current apartment ends 25th of this month! So, it’s crunch time for us! There is still a lot of stuff that needs to be taken care of! This I believe is just the architect in me or is it the home-owner? The thought of owing a home hasn’t still sunken in well. I am still not ready to pack off and leave this apartment! The sense of belonging they say takes a while to go!

But, first things first! We had to visit the Natural Stones on Brokaw and Ikea in Palo Alto both! We had boiled eggs and bread sandwich for breakfast. Headed out to the stone place where we finally found our shade of quartz! Yay! It was pricey! Yeah all things have a big branding price tag! I wonder why?? Our contractor figured out a better deal for us and we are all set to go with it!

At Ikea we walked and walked. Sometimes with my son in hands and sometimes on foot, but we walked for sure! And we managed to decide on a Billy bookcase for the study after reviewing all the options there! Oh btw, there are great blue pottery coffee/tea cups there! They are a steal J. So, if you haven’t been there in a while do visit the place! My husband and son were hungry at 4pm and we decided to have a quick bite at the cafeteria in Ikea. Though it is complete gluttony, their fries are so delicious! I ate a few but stuck to boiled veggies that were there. The Mac and Cheese was also good and my son enjoyed it. I did not get a chance to eat but my son loved their Strawberry short cake! It did look gorgeous!

After a day of walking our son was determined to go to Target and get hot-wheels! We eventually got a tiny hot wheels aero worth a dollar! He was happy and we were tired. Rohan told me to rest and not cook dinner! We got a to-go from Chaat Bhavan! We had dinner and very so tired that I was snoozing on sofa itself in minutes.What a day it was! I hope to see decent numbers on the weighing scale too! Though there was eating out, nothing beyond moderation and lots of walking! So, kept my fingers crossed for Monday!

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Sunday we decided to take it easy. I hadn’t worn saree yet so wore a green georgette Parsi Gara work saree when we went out.Me & Ru visited our new house! Got to show them this saree!

My kid has been asking me to make Spaghetti with meatballs for a good long time now! I did not wish to feed him frozen meatballs and we don’t eat red meat anyway. Recently on a food group on Facebook Ritu Shrivastava shared her Shammi Kabab recipe and my mind was set thinking after that! So I made my version of the classic! Mine is called Spaghetti Makhanwala (with no cream or butter or milk with Shammi Kabab (Chicken patties made with little oil on pan) meatballs!

The adventure worked!! My family loved it!!  The whole whacky combination worked! I m so excited to share it with all of you!  I was looking for a perfect shami kabab recipe for a long time! Ritu’s recipe for those kababs was deliciously perfect! Udeet loved them J. So instead of just a thank-you, tell me when you could come over and eat this with me! I will be glad to have you over!

We had to visit our cousins Bageshree and Sameer today since Bageshree’s parents came from India early this week. It was so much fun to spend time with folks from back home. Udeet kept Sameer on toes and made sure he shared all his gardening tips with him.

It was really late by the time we came home. We weren’t really hungry so had hot chocolate while Udeet rejoiced on the leftover Spaghetti Makhanwala (with no cream or butter or milk with Shammi Kabab (Chicken patties made with little oil on pan) meatballs!

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What a weekend it was! Amazing J Ahh missed my 6th day workout today but I m going to skip the rest day on Tuesday instead J.

Sino’s 2015: The Glutton in me!


“I believe that life is a celebration, a celebration of being able to experience all shades of life. We all have our reasons to celebrate each colour of life, don’t we?”  This week surely has been a week of celebrations.

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Firstly, a gorgeous and talented fellow blogger Sandhya of Indfused nominated me for the Infinity Awards! Yay, I am so happy to be nominated that it took a while for me to actually blog about it, Sandhya thanks a million for the shout out and sorry for the delay in acknowledging J. I shall be blogging shortly the answers to all the questions as well as the names of 7 most promising bloggers!

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I m also glad to announce another happy moment of mention of appreciation from another lovely fellow blogger Chaitrali. Thank you girls for making it so special for me! Hoping to keep up to the faith and promise you hold in me!

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Third and most important reason for celebration is the Graduation of my friend Pranaya. She graduated this spring from NPU, CA. She is like a sister to me and I along with a lovely bunch of enthusiastic friends wanted to make it special for her. Graduation walks are very pristine. We arranged for a dinner and fun get together at Sino’s, Santana Row. Chatty friends dressed to dare and on a mission, what more does one need for a graduation dinner? Meena made sure that Pranaya got her beautiful surprise gift along with a bouquet that I got on behalf of all of us!

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An unexpected fourth celebration was all my friends decided to gift me wonderful gifts as a birthday presents (birthday was last month so this was totally unexpected!). Cannot thank them enough for making it such a precious moment for me!

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Sino’s is an absolute fun place! The ambience and vibe is definitely fresh and youthful. The bar and the eating arena are completely vibrant. Perfect use of red hues and lighting (read-not meant for photography :P) make it trendy. The next time thought I m going to make sure we book for the outdoor seating only! As the place gets busier, it was warmer in there. But, the music and cordial staff makes up for it! I was a bit confused to see babies in there. The loud music and drinks with babies?? Really? I m no judge to make passes but it did seem a bit odd. Poor baby L!

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The menu has decent options for vegetarians and Sino’s also substitutes meat with vegetarian/vegan alternatives if requested. However, the general tone of food tends towards a sweet-sour taste. The chicken lollipop was well cooked, crunchy on the exterior and moist on the inside but had a sweet after taste. The sauce and spring mix served along was tasty though. The seafood dumplings were good. I had a bite and realized (I know, have developed an allergy for prawns/shrimps all of sudden at puberty.) they have prawns so could not eat more, but they were delicious. But again, if you are a savory-spicy eater-that’s not the dish for you.

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We ordered Sea bass, Veg.fried rice, Eggplant Stir fry, Tofu curry,Fire Cracker Chicken and Veg.Noodles for main course. The firecracker chicken was a stunner! The chicken was smooth and silky. It had a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy! I loved this dish! The Sea Bass was well cooked, had a beautiful colour and had infused flavor from coconut milk. The tenderness of coconut milk definitely worked with the Sea Bass. The Sea bass needed some heat though. A little spice could have elevated the tenderness to another level. So needs improvement (Sino chefs I hope you are listening :P).

The fried rice was tasty and loaded with MSG :P. The Glutton in me wanted to ,but the hourglass in me stopped me from any more gluttony! The noodles were decent, nothing great about them again.

The drinks were great. I especially loved the Peach Martini my friend had ordered. It was citrusy and strong! Exactly how I love it! But I m on a strict diet, so nothing beyond a little glass of Riseling for me! Adventures need optimization, don’t they? J

I would give 5 on 5 for ambience, music and vibe! The food however was above average (thanks to the fried rice and firecracker chicken) so I would give a 3 out of 5. But, the drinks were great, so a big shout out to the bar-magician-you sure score 4 on 5!

If you are looking for quiet dinners, this is not the place! It’s a happening joint! Little Black dresses, casual shirts and trousers with dinner jackets, lots of music and great music! So, if you wish to have fun times with friends, it is a top on the list!

Besanwali Bhindi ( Stuffed Okra with Chickpea flour)


And then there was a ladyfinger. (Stir fry and Ladyfingers, thinking right?)

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Yes, the Indian Ladyfinger is America’s very own Okra! A beautiful green colored long vegetable just like a lady’s fingers.

However, after migrating to the US (post marriage) I was amused to learn that ladyfingers are a kind of biscuit (low density, egg based and sweet sponge like) used as a dessert ingredient and not a vegetable. Ironical isn’t it? :P!

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Besanwali Bhindi (Bharwa Bhindi/Bharleli Bhendi/ Stuffed Okra with Chickpea flour) is one of my favourite stir-fries! Getting fresh bhindi here is a rarity. At least I have not come across a single store that carries a nice sharp stock of it with it’s tails intact (those of you who have shared same pains of selecting amongst broken tailed okras,my heartfelt empathies!)

In childhood, my Aai (my mother) used to be so upset when I used to gobble down all the okra even before the lunchtime. Loved munching on these.

They obviously taste great when the oil dollop is bigger (or so I thought!)

Believe me there are so many people like me who believed that fat, bacon and ice-cream are mandatory sins of the culinary world! The humungous addition of these ingredients alone would make a dish taste out of the world! But, this version of “besanwali bhindi” will change it for all thinkers.

It’s light, time effective and delicious! What more other than a detailed recipe would one ask for?

Voilà!

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Ingredients: (for 2 persons)

  • 20 okras/ladyfingers washed, towel dried and slit lengthwise.(select smaller ones, they are perfectly tender.)
  • 3-4 tbsps. Besan or Chickpea flour.
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 1 tbsp. jaggery or palm sugar.
  • 2 tsps. cilantro powder.
  • 2 tsps. cumin powder.
  • 1 tsp. roasted dried garlic powder.
  • 1 tsp. carom seeds.
  • Oil spray.
  • Oil for tempering.
  • 1 tsp. asafetida.
  • 1 tsp. turmeric.
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds.
  • 2 tbsps. Garam masala (all spices powder).

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  • Mix the besan, chili powder, cilantro powder, garam masala, cumin powder, salt, jiggery, garlic powder, carom seeds and turmeric along with little salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Hold the slit okra is a hand and stuff the besan mixture in it. Gently coat the okra into the bowl of mixture after that. This seals the okra and the stuffing well and does not allow the filling to come out while cooking. (Even if it comes out, it still tastes great J). Repeat the same for all the ladyfingers.
  • Heat 2-3 tsps. Olive oil (or any of your choice) in a pan and make the tempering. Add the cumin seeds and asafetida in hot oil and allow it to crackle.
  • Add the stuffed okra in the pan.
  • Oil spray the okra and sauté.
  • The colour of okra changes to a brighter green, that’s when it is cooked well.
  • But, we need the okra to be crisp and crunchy so allow it to crisp on a medium-slow flame. If you fear the okra to burn in the deep pan, add a flat pan (tawa) beneath it until it crisps.
  • And it’s ready!

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I understand that it takes a while stuffing each okra and then crisping it up, but the results are worth the trouble! I have seen a couple of my friends broil it in the oven to crisp it up, you can try doing that and share how! One word of advice though, while cooking okra do not cover the pan with a lid, the gel like saps within comes off and is sticky. It’s not very appetizing to the eyes L.

Serve besanwali bhindi with your choice of bread or eat it JLT! I have had this as an appetizer for many gatherings and it’s a crowd pleaser!!