How many of you believe in food being the astrologer of life? For eg, eating a lot of carrots make your eyes healthy. Eating a lot of Spinach makes you strong. And eating a lot of okra makes you a math whiz. These might be true. But for a fact, I know that I ate okra probably every single day of my school days because it was my favorite veggie at that time. And not because I wanted to become a math whiz. Maybe my mom was desperate and thought maybe my math skills would finally improve. But, all that okra and I'm no math whiz yet. And the modern gadgets come all built in with a calculator and I find myself quite often trying to calculate tip on a restaurant bill using one of those very helpful icons on my phone. How come I can't just add a 15% tip and divide the total bill by four people. I can try. It might be the waiter's lucky day as I'm sure to mess up and pay him a lot more!
Anyways, jumping from my horrible math skills to the much better recipe here, this is a classic and simple Bhindi Aloo sabji recipe. But, the twist here is that the okra is not pan fried but broiled to provide a perfect consistency. I recently learned this from my friend Indu when I had gone to her place and she had the most perfectly done okra sabji - crisp and yet low on the oil. And I was surprised to hear that she broils it in an oven. What a neat idea.
Also, the thing with the okra here in the US is that they are not as great and tender as the ones available back in India. They are usually much more short and stout and have an extra level of gooeyness inside. So, try to chop them finely and they usually turn up a big mushy sabji. The biggest advantage to broiling the okra is that you don't have to deal with any goo at all. And you also end up using a lot less oil than pan frying the veggie. Just a couple of sprays of Pam on top of the veggie and in the oven it goes. 30 mins later you end up with a crisp perfectly done okra fry.
Wash some fresh okra and let it dry a little.
Chop into little bits. Foil up a baking sheet and spray on some Pam or brush a little with oil. Fill the sheet with the cut okra and spray a couple of spritz of oil. Sprinkle a little salt on top and pop this in a pre heated oven at 350F for about 25-30 mins and use the broil setting and not just the baking setting. Check in after 20 mins to make sure that they are not done yet and you can give it a gentle mix to make sure that all sides get done evenly.
Meanwhile, chop up all these ingredients -
Onions - 1 medium chopped into small bits
Ginger - about 1 inch chopped finely
Green Chilli - chopped finely about 1-2
Garlic (optional) - as much as you can take
Tomatoes - 1-2 chopped roughly
Potatoes - cut into small bits
In a wide pan, add about 1 tsp oil. Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and 1/2 tsp cumin seeds. Then, add in the onions, ginger and green chilli and saute for a min.
When the onions are done, add in the tomatoes and fry for a min.
Then add the potatoes in. The potatoes can also be broiled similar to the okra. Or they can pre steamed in the microwave for about 4-5 mins so they are a little soft and don't take a long time cooking.
Season the veggies with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and a little coriander powder. Mix well and cook for about 5-10 mins or until the potatoes are done tender.
Checking back on the okra and they look perfectly done.
Move the cooked okra and mix with rest of the veggies and mix well so the flavors mix completely. Cook for about 2 mins. Switch off and you're done!
Serve hot with rotis or rice and daal. These work great as a filling for a wrap too. Easy and handy wrap.
This might not help you with math but will provide you a satisfying dinner. And then you can use all that happiness to learn math if you want to.
Enjoy. Peace out!