Okra or Bhindi as us South Asians call it, is one very common summer vegetable. Its usually a universal favourite amongst kids and adults alike. It is also highly nutritious and is great for one’s gut too. And hence I am constantly looking for different ways to prepare this versatile veggie. Although I plan the meals I am going to cook a few days in advance, this was one rare occasion when I didn’t end up cooking what I had originally planned. I was rummaging through my pantry trying to find a packet of turmeric when I eyed the huge packet of zaatar I had picked from a middle-eastern restaurant, used a few times in dips and such and then forgotten all about it. Sign from heavens above maybe? And I decided to cook it with okra. And as always, my willingness to mix flavours and be adventurous in the kitchen did not disappoint and I have made this recipe several times hence. Sharing this keeper with you. Hope you enjoy it as much as me and my family does.
- Okra (bhindi)-400 grams
- Tomato, chopped fine or blended coarsely-2 big sized or 3 small, approximately 1.5 cup
- White sesame- 1tablespoon
- Toasted peanuts coarsely pound- 2 tablespoons
- Zaatar Spice -2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon
- Garam Masala-1/2 teaspoon
- Turmeric-1/2 teaspoon
- Garlic, minced- 1 teaspoon
- Ginger-garlic paste- 1 teaspoon
- Coriander, chopped- 2 teaspoons
- Green chilies, sliced-1 (optional)
- Oil-1 tablespoon
- Salt-1teaspoon or to taste
- Wash and air dry the okra half an hour before preparing. Once dried, chop off the pointed top and the hard bottom. Then slice the okra vertically into two and further slice each piece into half or as desired
- Toast the white sesame in a non-stick skillet on a medium flame with constant stirring till light brown, transfer and keep aside
- In the same skillet heat oil and add minced garlic and sauté for a few seconds , then add the toasted sesame and mix well. Keeping the flame on medium all the time, add tomatoes and ginger-galic paste. Cook with occasional stirring until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
- Add garam masala, turmeric and green chilli and mix well. Cook on a medium flame for a minute then add 2 tablespoons zaatar and mix well
- Add sliced okra and mix the vegetable well with spices gently. Avoid stirring it too much and whenever you do, try doing it shaking the pan instead of the spatula
- Keep the flame to medium and cook till the okra is 70 percent done. Then add salt, mix well and increase flame to medium-high; cook for another 5 minutes stirring intermittently.
- Turn off the heat, garnish with the reserved zaatar , peanuts and coriander and serve hot with chapatis.
Okra is high in fibre and great for gut and also has anti-stress and anti-fatigue benefits. This is a great summer vegetable