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- Duration: 30 minutes
- Serves: 4 people
Spice Level: Low
For the crispiest bhindi, the trick is to ensure that the vegetables are dried thoroughly after being washed. Traditionally, bhindis were washed a few hours before cooking and allowed to dry completely, then wiped individually before being cooked.
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A chance discovery, kurkuri bhindi was the desperate attempt of an impoverished woman, living in present-day western UP, to please an unexpected visitor—her son-in-law. With no money and scant provisions, the harried mother-in-law rushed to her kitchen garden to see what she could find. The only thing growing in abundance was the common bhindi or lady’s finger that’s grown abundantly in this region even today. She had to make something special from the common vegetable. As she was cutting the bhindi, the stickiness of the cut vegetable gave her an idea. She reached for the dabba of besan, took a handful, coated the thinly cut bhindi with it to get rid of the stickiness, and then deep-fried it. The son-in-law loved the preparation, served to him with rotis, hot off the tawa. Gradually, word spread on this fantastic recipe and most households took to cooking bhindi in this interesting way.
- Okra (bhindi) (small-sized), lengthwise sliced (250 gm)
- Gram flour (besan) (1 tbsp)
- MTR Garam Masala (1 tsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- MTR Lal Mirch/Red Chilli Powder (to taste)
- Oil (for deep-frying)
- Lemon (nimbu), sliced (3)
- Put the besan in a bowl and add MTR Garam Masala to it. (The besan soaks up the stickiness of the bhindi.)
- Season with salt and MTR Lal Mirch Chilli Powder.
- Lightly dust the slit bhindis with the mix and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Heat oil in a pan till it reaches smoke point.
- Lower the heat and deep-fry the bhindis in small batches till they turn golden and crispy. It should take very little time to get the desired crispiness. Make sure the vegetables are sliced finely so that they cook well while being quick fried.
- Squeeze lemon over the bhindi, if you like, and serve immediately with arhar dal, rotis, and tomato salad.