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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Everyday Cooking"- Stuffed Okra/ Bharali bhendi

As a kid, I LOVED okra! We call it 'Bhendi' in marathi ( language we speak in Pune,India). My mom tells me, to get me to wake up in the morning....only thing she had to say was...." Come on wake up...There is Bhendi for lunch"!!!  And...it seems I would get up right away and ask for lunch! Hahah!
May be my mom was exaggerating....but I still remember liking it very much! My father used to joke that....since I like Okra soooo much.....I would have to marry a 'Okra Farmer" so that I can always have okra whenever I want! And the fun part is....."M" (my husband) comes from a family who did own a farm where they planted okra in one plot! How funny is that!!!!
There are number of ways you can prepare okra.You can slice it into discs and fry it, stuff it, add it to Sambar (lentils) etc etc.As a kid I liked the simply sliced one and fried in oil with turmeric,mustard,chili powder and salt. Same goes for my little 'E'...he likes it that way too!
But as I grew up,I also started liking this 'stuffed' okra that my mom used to prepare.
Here is the recipe for Sour-sweet-spicy Okra, stuffed with peanut,sesame,tamarind,jaggery etc.

1lb Okra (look for slender ones)
1/2cup Finely Crushed peanut
1/4 cup roasted sesame seeds
1/2tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2tsp tamarind extract
1/2tsp Jaggery/ Brown sugar
1/2tsp turmeric
1/4tsp Chili powder
1/2tsp Cumin-corainder powder
1/2tsp Maharashtrian masala (optional)
1/4tsp Cumin
1/4tsp mustard seeds

1)   Mix together, crushed peanuts, sesame,ginger garlic paste, tamarind,jaggery, cumin-corainder powder,chili powder,turmeric etc. The mixture will be moist but crumbly.
2)Wash Okra and pat it dry. With a sharp knife, give a slit vertically. Gently put your finger in the slit and widen it a little bit.
3) Stuff the slit with 1/2tsp or so of the filling.Press it shut.

4) Heat some oil on low flame.Add mustard and cumin and let it splutter.Add turmeric and little bit chili powder.
5) Add the stuffed okra and gently toss.
6) Cover the pan and let it cook for 3-4 mins on low flame. Do not overcook. The okra should hold its shape.
7) Serve warm with Chapati (Indian flat bread) or roll it in a tortilla to make a tasty wrap.


  1. Sounds great and delicious...

  2. Thanks Tina! You should give it a try..if you like Okra ofcourse...