This recipe comes from Cyrus Todiwala, Chef Patron at Cafe Spice Namaste and Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen.
Bhareli Bindhi – Stuffed Okras or Ladies Fingers
A not so difficult dish to prepare if you love Okras and they are indeed really tasty when a bit more flavour is added to them. In Goa during the monsoon a typical Goan Monsoon Bhenay or Bhindi or Okra appears. They may be as long as twelve inches at times and offer a large surface for stuffing.
Try the recipe below and do use desiccated coconut if you wish to but soak well in warm water before using it as a fresh alternative. Also a variation to this is to blend small fresh or dried shrimps* to the stuffing.
- BHINDI – Twenty to thirty numbers but select long and slender ones. (Do not select thick and seedy looking ones as they will not cook well).
- GRATED COCONUT – ½ Whole coconut or ½ from a frozen packet. (Available from Chinese and Thai or Filipino stores)
- COOKING OIL – Three to four tablespoons
- FRESH GREEN CHILLIES – Two large one finely chopped
- FRESH CORIANDER – One to two table spoons chopped
- CORIANDER SEEDS – 1 teaspoon crushed fine but not powdered
- CUMIN SEEDS – ½ teaspoon finely crushed but not powdered
- FENNEL SEEDS – ½ teaspoon crushed as above
- SALT – To taste
- CHAAT MASALA – Two teaspoons (Available in Asian stores)
- TURMERIC POWDER – ¼th teaspoon.
- Wash & wipe the bhindi’s first. If you do not wipe them they will get gooey when worked on.
- Slit them lengthways but ensure that you do not go right through the Okra. The slit is to open it up for filling, apply a mixture of salt & the turmeric powder inside. Set aside for a bit whilst you prep the other ingredients.
- Toast the three seeds gently in a small frying pan until aromatic, cool so that they get crisp and then crush in a mortar to a bread crumb consistency.
- Blend all the other ingredients together and season lightly.
- Stuff the bhindi’s until they are well swollen but do not let them tear.
- Sauté them in a heavy bottomed pan with as little oil as you can permit each time. The oil must coat the bottom of the pan.
- Sauté them until golden brown and serve sprinkled with any remaining stuffing or you may like to make some for the garnish, or use it with something else like a potato cake for example.
- Served with thick yoghurt ** it makes a lovely accompaniment or starter.
- Alternatively, you can apply oil on the Okras and place them in the oven to bake at a 150*Celsius for fifteen to twenty minutes and then serve.
(*) – This dish will contain the CRUSTACEAN ALLERGEN if shrimp is used.
(**) – This dish will contain the DAIRY ALLERGEN if yoghurt is used
Allergens in this dish indicated by the Box (es) Marked ‘x’