As much as I love to taste food from different cuisines there are times when I crave the simplicity of roz-ka-khana or simple day to day home cooked food. All through this week I cooked a variety of foods like couscous with veggies and chicken, pasta and garlic bread, pita bread pizza etc etc etc . These are all my favourites and very filling .But the satisfaction that my family and I get when we eat a typical simple Maharshtrian meal is something that cannot really be explained. Today was one such day when I needed my dose of a complete Maharshtrian lunch which included
1. Poli, (Chapati)
2. Bhendichi bhaji,(the one you see above)
3. Aamti,(a spiced up Dal)
4. Koshimbir,(Maharshtrian salad)
5. Limbacha loncha,(Sweet and sour lemon pickle)
7. Varan Bhaat (Rice and Dal)
8. Rawyacha Ladoo (A sweet treat ,recipe here)
I wish I had photographed the entire plate served but I guess photography was the last thing on my mind then. So what I have for you today is the bhindi fry which you will love.
1 kg lady's fingers (bhindi),
1 large potato,
5 cloves of garlic,
4 tblspns chickpea flour (besan)
1 tblspn ground peanuts,
1/2 tspn turmeric powder,
1 tspn and a little more chilly powder,
1 tspn coriander seed powder,
1 tspn cumin powder,
1 tblspn sugar,
1 tspn lemon juice,
salt to taste,
For the tempering :
5 to 6 tblspns oil
3 tspn mustard seeds,
1 tspn asafoetida (hing)
2 tspn cumin seeds,
1. Before starting the actual cooking wipe each bhindi clean with kitchen paper towel. If you must wash it then do it the previous night and spread out the bhindi on a tea towel to dry thoroughly. Cooking wet bhindi is inviting disaster as it turns horribly stringy.
2. Cut each bhindi into 2 or 3 pieces. I normally cut them at an angle .
3. Cut the potato , crush the garlic cloves and keep aside.
4. Now in a large pan heat the oil and first add the garlic, when it turns light brown add the mustard ,asafoetida and cumin,
5. Next add the bhindi , and potatoes, stir fry these on a medium heat,
6. Add to this the spice powders and the salt, continue cooking the vegetables on low to med heat without covering the pan.
7. Once the bhindi and potatoes have cooked add to that the peanut powder and the besan. The besan will immediately absorb any excess oil in the pan. Now cover the pan so the besan will cook.
8. At the last stage add the lemon juice , give it a taste and garnish with chopped coriander.
A small tip: If during cooking despite all efforts the bhindi does get stringy just add the lemon juice at that stage. The acidity of the lemon juice will cut through the strings.