Ladyfinger, also known as Bhindi in our local culinary terms one of the most commonly used vegetables in our daily cooking, easy to make, simple to adapt to, and healthy as well.
Bhindi as to Indian kitchens is like one vegetable which most of us have once in a week or so and yet its varieties are numerous and the variations are extremely exotic too. I remember having a ladyfinger soup in one of my experiences with international cuisines and believe me it was simple out of the world, we usually have it in an onion tomato masala or just simply with onion and spices at times or just normal tadke wali bhindi as well.
It is also called Okra and Gumbo as well in the world cuisine and it has found its way into salads, stir fries, soups, side dishes, main course curries, stews, baked dishes, not to forget a few of my favorites like kurkuri bhindi, bhindi do pyaaza, hare masale wali bhindi, bhindi in dahi gravy, bhindi aur aloo ka bhujiya etc.
Here are a few recipes with ladyfingers with a little twist of taste for all of you to try:
Recipe 1 - GUMBO FRIED RICE
- Boiled white rice- 2 cups cooked
- Ladyfingers/bhindi- 150 gms cut into pieces
- Oil- 2 tbsp.
- Garlic- 1 tsp chopped
- Ginger – 1 tsp chopped
- Green chilies- 2 no slit
- Onion-1 small chop.
- Schezuan sauce- 1 tbsp.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Tomato ketchup- 1 tbsp.
- Soy sauce- 1 tsp
- Red and green chili sauce- 1 tsp each
- Assorted mix veggies- carrots/beans/peas/ potatoes- any of
- your choice to be cut into small pieces and blanched/boiled.
- Coriander leaves- 2 tsp chopped
- Roasted/fried peanuts/cashews- 2 tbsp.
1. Prepare the rice and keep it aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan/wok saute the ginger, garlic, chilies, onion, and saute for 15 seconds.
3. Add in the veggies of your choice and cut ladyfinger pieces (ladyfinger beauty uses) and add salt, pepper saute well for a minute.
4. Cover and simmer for 4-6 mins, allowing veggies to cook in steam, add in the sauces, little water, and allow to cook for more 2-3 mins in steam. (if desired we can fry the ladyfingers as well and then add them to the rice for crispy texture)
5. Finally add in the cooked rice, toss well and check for salt.
6. Garnish with fried nuts, coriander and serve hot.
For Non-Veg: add boiled cubed eggs/ boiled cubes of chicken/ sliced chicken sausages/ also try adding baked beans/ cubes of paneer/tofu.
Recipe 2 - SAUNFIYA BHINDI ALOO
- Bhindi- 200gms cut into medium pieces
- Potato- 150gms cut into cubes.
- Oil/ghee- 2 tbsp.
- Hing- 1 pinch
- Jeera- 1 tsp
- Curry leaves- 6- 8 no
- Slit green chilies- 2-3
- Onion- 1 large chop
- Roasted crushed saunf- 1 tsp
- Chaat masala- ½ tsp/aamchur powder- ½ tsp
- Lime juice- 1 tsp
- Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp. chop
1. Prepare the bhindi and aloo cut into pieces.
2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan, add in the hing and all the ingredients one by one, saute onions till light pink.
3. Add in the aloo and bhindi and mix well, cover and simmer for 6-8 mins.
4. Now add in the masalas, saunf and salt to taste, mix well cook for another 4-6 mins until well done.
5. Finally add in the aamchur/lime juice and coriander leaves and serve hot with phulkas, rotis.
Recipe 3 - LADYFINGER RELISH WITH FETA CHEESE
- Ladyfingers- 150 gms cut into pieces
- Lettuce leaves- 1 cup
- Tomatoes-1/2 cup no seeds
- Capsicums-1/4 cup cubes
- Shallots/onions- ¼ cup sliced
- Cucumber- 1 small cubes
- Lime juice- 2 tbsp.
- Chaat masala-1/2 cup
- Mint leaves- 10-12 no
- Schezuan chutney- 1 tbsp.
- Coriander leaves- 1 tbsp.
- Bread croutons/cubes of fried/toasted bread- ½ cup
- Feta cheese/ regular cubes of processed cheese- 100 gms
- To saute the Ladyfingers:
- Oil- 1 tbsp.
- Garlic- 1 tsp chop
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Herbs and chili flakes to taste
1. Prepare all the ingredients for the relish salad, cook the ladyfingers separately first as given above for 10-12 mins on low flame.
2. In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients well and toss the salad together with the saute and cooked ladyfinger pieces.
3. Add the bread croutons/cubes and arrange it on a serving dish on a bed of crispy lettuce leaves, garnish with some olives/cherry tomatoes/ feta cheese and serve immediately.
Recipe 4- ASIAN OKRA TOMATO VEG BROTH
- Okra/ladyfingers- 150 gms cut into pieces
- Olive oil/ oil- 2 tsp
- Garlic- 1 tsp chop
- Onion- 1 small chop
- Carrot- 2 inch. piece cubes
- Potato/sweet potato- 1 small cubes
- Capsicum- ½ cubes
- Green peas-1/4 cup boiled
- Tomato puree- 1 cup fresh/tin
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Paneer/tofu- 50 gms cubes
- Parsley/basil/coriander leaves- 2 tbsp.
- Water/veg stock- 2-3 cups
1. Prepare the ingredients for the soup.
2. Heat oil saute garlic, onion add in the tough vegetables initially add seasonings, puree, herbs and chili flakes/spices as desired.
3. Add in the veg stock/water and bring to a boil, simmer for 10 mins, add in the capsicums, ladyfingers and continue cooking for 10-12 mins more.
4. Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander/basil leaves.
Dr. Kaviraj Khialani is a well-known chef. He is a cuisine specialist, author, food designer, food writer and consultant based in Mumbai. Chef Kaviraj has an vast experience with hotels and airlines and has worked over 33 types of cuisines through her journey to date.