Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marwadi Bharwa Bhindi /Stuffed Okra

India- a country that has assortment of religions, languages, culture and food. Example south Indians add mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut in their meals where as north Indians add ghee, cumin seeds and lots of garlic. Westerners like Guajaratis prefer sweet meals while Rajasthanis who are also from western India like their food to be very spicy. That’s why same white peas curry is Ghugni Chaat in West Bengal, Ragda Patties in Gujarat and Matra  in Bihar. Same aloo ki subji is served with kachori in Uttar Pradesh whereas with puri in Madhya Pradesh. You now get the picture??

Dish that I chose to upload on my blog is another example that showcases the changes that happens with it when it travels to different parts of India. It is Bharwa Bhindi/ Stuffed Okra. In north it gets the royal treatment-stuffed with panner and is made with lots of ghee. In eastern parts it is rather simple with mustard oil and yogurt. When in south it is loaded with curry leaves, coconut and mustard seeds. I made it marwadi way- the rajasthani style.

After I posted the marwadi aloo pyaz ki subji I have been getting request emails to add more marwadi cuisine in my blog. Well why not, after all I am a marwadi who is born and bought up in Rajasthan. So here is the western/rajasthani/marwadi form of making Bharwa Bhindi. First, even a drop of water on Bhindi can make it all gooey and slimy which is a strict no no. Gram flour and homemade chaat massala does the magic that conveys that Marwadi touch. No coconut, paneer just simple Indian spices and some patience is all you need to make this side dish.

2 cups okra/bhindi
3 teaspoon gram flour/besan
1 teaspoon Red chilli powder/lal mirch
1 teaspoon Cumin powder/jeera
1 teaspoon Coriander powder/Dhania
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder/haldi
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds crushed/Saunf
1/2 teaspoon Dry mango powder/Amchur
1/2 teaspoon homemade chaat masala
2 Green chilies
Pinch asafoetida/hing
4 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds/jeera
1/4 tsp Garam Masala Powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoon coriander leaves

  1. Wash okras well and drain on kitchen towel till there is not even a drop of water.
  2. Mix gram flour, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric, cumin powder, crushed fennel seeds, dry mango powder, chaat massala and salt in a bowl.
  3. Slit okras and stuff 1/4 teaspoon of above mixture in each of them.
  4. Heat oil and add cumin seeds, green chillies and asafoetida.
  5. Add stuffed okras in the pan and mix well. Add in all the remaining spice mixture. Cover and cook. Mix after every one minute. When soft, sprinkle garam massala on it. Let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Indian Masala Chaas / Spiced Buttermilk

After a very long time I am posting a recipe in my blog. I was busy holidaying in Paris and then Scotland and Amsterdam. Most of you have already seen Paris through my lens and thanks a lot for your comments.
Now back in London, back to routine. Back is the sun, the green trees, the chirping birds, the sprung flowers. Long days filled with sunshine is such a pure bliss after depressing and dark winters- this winters there was no trace of snow as well :-(. Anyways now I won’t bore you talking about the gloomy weather. It’s the summer time. Happy Summers everyone :-)

2 days back I was on phone with my friend in India (Mumbai) and she was mourning over heat and summers. She said ‘uff, I hate summers, I hate going out, it is so hot outside, I can’t even do makeup, it is sweat everywhere-etc etc’ Well it is not new for anyone who has experienced Indian summers- correct? Summers in India are not the sunny, warm and bright like London. Summers in India mean scorching heat, sand storms and sweaty days.

London is never that hot but even with a little sunshine I crave for something cold and yet healthy. Vodka Mojito, Mint Cucumber Cooler, Bloody Mary are okay once a while. But at times drinks without sugar is what I wish for. A huge thanks to that unknown someone who invented  Masala Chaas or Spiced Buttermilk which is healthy and is the perfect thirst quencher.

It is the blend of spices with thick yogurt and thus the health benefits are immense. Made with water and curd, this drink is perfect to soothe the stomach. As you drink it the cool butter milk tends to wash down the spices and calms an irritated stomach lining. Packed with electrolytes and lots of water, chaas is the best thing you can give your body to fight dehydration. This summer invest in glass of Masala Chaas and relieve yourself from sun.

1 cup yogurt/dahi
4 cups cold water
1 teaspoon ginger juice/adrak
1 green chilli deseeded
1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder/bhuna jeera
Black salt to taste
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves/sukha pudhina

Mix everything together with 4 cups of cold water. Mix well till it is frothy.

If you don’t have dried mint leaves, use fresh. Just used 4-5 crushed mint leaves.
Green chilli is optional but it brings great taste.