Bhindi Do Pyaza - Okra Onion Stir Fry is a very popular Indian sabzi/side dish that is served/eaten with Naan/Roti/Chapati. Bhindi is also popularly known as Okra or lady finger and is one of our favorite vegetable. There are different theories and methods associated w.r.t preparation style for this dish due to its name "Do Pyaza" which in literal translation is 2 onions. Some say it was named "Do Pyaza" as the onions are used twice during the cooking process once to make the gravy and then as garnish where as some say its the quantity of onions used. Since I make this in stir fry style (not gravy) I like to follow the later theory i.e. use two onions. That way its simple, quick and delicious all at the same time.
I have cut the Bhindi and onions in julienne, that's just the way my Hubby likes it. But you can also cut the okra in roundels and chop the onions coarsely. The main issue often faced while cooking Okra is it leaves a slimy substance during the cooking process which is not very appealing to see but we can minimize/eliminate it. For this, wash the Okra a day/night before and leave it to air-dry completely by spreading the bhindi in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel or paper napkin. You can towel dry it too but i prefer to air-dry it (one less thing to do). Also if you are pressed for time, like those busy mornings to work prep the Okra previous night i.e. wash, dry and cut it the previous night and keep it covered with a paper towel on the kitchen counter. You are good to start making the sabzi in the morning.
Now to the Recipe...
500gms fresh Okra (bhindi) cut in juliennes
2 large onions cut in juliennes
2-3 green chillies slit in half
2 tbsp of oil (or as required)
1 tsp cumin seeds (zeera)
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi) (optional)
2-3 tbsp coarsely ground coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur)
1 tsp cumin seeds powder (zeera powder)
½ tsp garam masala
2-3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste
Wash, dry and cut the okra, onions and green chillies and keep them ready. In a pan heat 2 tbsp of oil and once hot add the cumin seeds. Once they splutter add the onions and green chillies and stir till onions turn translucent.
Now add turmeric and cook the onions for some more time till you see some of them turning brown. This is the time to add the cut Okra(bhindi). Stir fry the Okra till its well mixed with the onions and oil for about 2-5 mins on medium to high heat. Now let it cook for about 5-10 mins stirring occasionally (but not too much). Once they are almost cooked add salt, coriander powder, red chilli powder, cumin seeds powder, dry mango powder and garam masala. Mix well and cook for another 5 mins or till done. Switch off the heat and add the finely chopped coriander leaves and mix.
- If you have an option to pick your Okra, select the tender ones. You can test by breaking a small portion of the tail by hand. If it breaks easily that means the Okra is good and will cook easily.
- To avoid the secretion of slimy substance from Okra during the cooking process, wash and completely dry the Okra before cutting and cooking it. While cutting sometimes there may be a build up of slimy substance on the knife. In this case wipe it off before resuming cutting the remaining okra.
- Okra requires slightly more oil than any other veggie. So adjust oil accordingly.
That's it our Bhindi Do Pyaza - Okra Onion Stir Fry is ready. Serve it hot with Naan/Chapati/Roti or any Indian flat bread of your choice.