We make our own spice blend, which incorporates incredible aroma and flavour to this dish. This is okra at its best.
Achaari bhindi was cooked by my mother when she wanted to change the flavours and spice it up a little from the simple bhindi sabzi that was more often made for the regular meals. This one indeed felt special. What I like about this dish is that its aromatic and full of spices, without being too over powering. It has just the right balance. That is the result of using homemade blend, which my mother always used to make herself. I learned that from her too.
What is in the Homemade Spice Blend?
There are whole spices that I grind using a grinder, and then add some powdered spices into it. All of these spices could be found at any Indian store. You can also use a mortar and pestle to make a coarse powder.
Hindi/Urdu names of the spices are as follows:
- Mustard seeds- Raee
- Coriander seeds- Sabit Dhania
- Fenugreek seeds- Methi dana
- Dry mango powder- Amchur powder
- Nigella seeds- Kalaunji
- Fennel seeds- Saunf
- Cumin seeds- Zeera
Other Ingredients Needed For The Recipe
Note: Hing (asafoetida) is a strong tasting spice. Once cooked, it doesn’t remain so pungent smelling anymore. It is usually added to make the okra easily digestible. You can skip it if you want.
Tips to Make Okra Non-slimy
- Wash and completely dry the okra before cutting. Also make sure that your chopper and knife are totally dry. If the okra comes in contact with water, it becomes slimy.
- When cooking, saute the okra into a pan without adding any water (especially in the initial stage).
- Add salt to the okra towards the end of the cooking process. Adding it before could result in okra releasing water, which may produce slime.
Watch the recipe video to easily follow the recipe:
Achaari Bhindi Using Homemade Spice Blend
- 700 grams okra (bhindi)
- 1 Tbsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 Tbsp mustard seeds (raee)
- ½ Tbsp coriander seeds (sabit dhania)
- ½ Tbsp cumin seeds (zeera)
- ½ tsp nigella seeds (kalonji)
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dana)
- ½ Tbsp dry mango powder
- 1 tsp kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 Tbsp rapeseed or mustard oil
- a pinch asafoetida (hing)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1-2 green chilies (chopped)
- 1 tsp salt
- 100 grams (½ cup) yogurt
- Wash the okra and let it dry completely. You could use a thick kitchen towel to tap it dry. Remove the heads and tail parts. Cut the okra into 3-4 cm pieces. Keep aside.
- In a grinder add all the whole spices and grind into a powder. Or you could use a mortar and pestle to make a coarse powder.
- Transfer the spice powder into a bowl and add the powdered spices. Mix it thoroughly and your spice blend is ready. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a wide pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the asafoetida, cumin seeds and chopped green chilies. Saute for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and saute for 1 minute.
- Add the spice blend and turn heat to low. Saute, stirring often for about 4-5 minutes until the tomatoes are mushy and the spices turn glossy. Add splashes of water if the mixture starts to stick on the bottom.
- Add the okra and mix. Saute for 1 minute, then cover with a lid. Turn heat to low and let cook for about 20 minutes.
- Uncover and add the salt and yogurt. Mix well and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve with multigrain chapati and plain yogurt.