Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alu Bhindi and Manisha ni Kadhi!

First of all, I'm really sorry I haven't come around peeking into your fantastic blogs. Things have been hectic at my end. My sis is visiting me and each day is crazier than the one before, I have tons of guests for the holiday weekend, college apps that are just lying around, waiting to be finished, laundry to be done and dishes to be thrown into the dishwasher. Anyway, A and I are having a blast with my sis because we finally found a person who has come to our place JUST to eat. And that's all she does. I make a lot of fun about that, but I'm glad that she eats every 20 mins :) Helps me exercise my cooking skills and get through my bookmarks. Coming to bookmarks, our old computer crashed and with that, went the bookmarks as well. Sigh! I can always come up with a story and an excuse :D

Last night, we had some of my sister's friends over and a friend of mine stayed over for the night since she was leaving for home from Atlanta. It was a blast with some sinfully rich Biryani and Salan and Gulab Jamoons. I realized yesterday how demanding I was, as a teenager. I moved out to Hyderabad to study and every time I came home, I'd ask my mom to make me and my hostel mates (all 30 of them) GJs (they seem so cooler this way!) So, magically, the day I was leaving, there'd be 2 huge Horlicks bottles full of GJs. I never asked her when she made them, how she made them and why she never said no. Yesterday, while making GJs with my sis, I blew my fuse more than once and almost gave up at every step. The amount of sugar and oil that goes into this delicacy has blown off all the work in the gym for the last 2 months. But it wasn't all bad (though my GJs kinda sucked!) We had a blast with the food, friends, games and talking. I remembered this was exactly how it was back in college. Everyone brought food from home, talk about boys, girls, hot professors and eat through the night. No one worried about how eating Namkeen at 3 AM was probably the worst thing to do to your waistline. Or, how we finished 2 big bottles of GJs in 2 days flat. That reminded me of this draft lying around, begging me to post it :)

Apart from Biryani and Salan which are a Hyderabadi staple, Alu Bhindi holds fond memories of many a night in the Hostel Mess/Dining Hall. We were served Biryani every weekend, while Alu Bhindi made its apperance once a week for dinner. Our Mess wasn't the best. We had political and other issues to battle with, apart from some really bad food. But I'm sure all my batch mates would agree that nothing, not even our mothers' Alu Bhindi could meet our expectations. Our Hostel Mess Cook made the BEST Alu Bhindi ever. Hot, crunchy, greasy and served in a smaller quantity than other sabzis(curries), this was a favorite. We went early during the dinner hour, just so the Alu Bhindi doesn't get over! I don't make it often. A and I eat Indian food once or twice a week and it does not necessarily have Alu/Potato. (Its squash once a week in some sorta cuisine. eww. Just saying.) However, the first time I made this, I cried. Not because it was good. It cannot be. But because of the number of times I served this to others (I was a Mess Secretary!) and prayed to God that there should be some left for me. This, apparently, is the Andhra version of a North Indian sabzi. It contained peanuts. Atleast, that is what our Malayalee cook told me. Here is the recipe, with approximate measurements.


Ingredients

1-1.5 lb Ladies Finger/Okra/Bhindi
A couple of potatoes ( I added more, since I had less Okra)
Half an onion, sliced/chopped
A handul of roasted peanuts - chopped or whole
Cayenne Pepper - lots :D
Salt
4-5 tbsp Oil

1. Chop the potato into cubes/slices and slit the Okra lengthwise and each one into half. Meaning, I cut it criss-cross ( it looks pretty, fries better!) and each long Okra is cut into two pieces and then slit lengthwise into two pieces.

2. Semi-cook the potatoes in the Microwave oven. I'm not giving the time here because it is different. It should be fork tender, but not falling apart. It should hold its own.

2. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil, add jeera and after it splutters, throw in the onion. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the Okra. Leave it for a good 2-3 mins. Then, stir and make sure the other side is touching the hot pan. I usually make this in a really hot cast iron pan and it is pretty quick. Add salt.

3. Strain the potatoes of all water and throw it in with the okra. Make sure there is space for every single piece of vegetable in the pan. Add about 1 tbsp oil over the potatoes and season with salt and cayenne pepper.

4. When this is almost done, add in the roasted peanuts, stir every 2-3 mins. Make sure you don't keep stirring them. Otherwise, they won't get brown and crisp. Let it be for some time.

5. Ta-da! This tastes great with Rotis or Yogurt/Curd Rice or just like that ;) If I don't finish it off the pan, then maybe A would realize that too!

Every time I make this particular curry, I make something else. Dal, another sabzi or have pickle ready. Because, sometimes, I just eat it off the pan waiting for A to come home for dinner. Its that good. And greasy. And greasy is always good. At our Hostel Mess, they deep-fried the Okra. But since I can't get myself to do that, I shall stick to sauteeing. This time around, I made Manisha's Gujarati Kadhi (2 different links here!). I've made this several times now and love it. I'm not a huge fan of sweetened curries for entrees or even sweetened yogurt based sweets (err.. ya!) The story moved me. Even before I food-blogged, I read this recipe on Anita's blog. Okay, I read the story. I didn't care about the recipe. This was when I worked and ate Dal-Chaawal everyday for dinner! I got to reading somehow about an April Fools' Joke and followed it around to Anita and Manisha's blogs. My faves since then. I never commented or anything of that sort, until I met Manisha on Twitter. Needless to say, I'm super active on FB and Twitter. Anyway, Manisha was telling someone about this Kadhi (on Anita's blog, where she'd posted it, instead of Anita) Long story. And I'm too impatient to type right now. Ever since I got married to this guy who studied in Gujarat and lived there and loved Gujju food, I've been looking for this recipe. On Manisha's blog. This, she calls it Vimlaben ni Kadhi. Or hot yogurt soup (not :D) I searched for Auntyji ki Kadhi and what not, but never found it. All because it was on Anita's blog. (yes, you can kill me for this later)




FINALLY, I found that piece of information through Twitter and I made this lovingly for A when he fell sick. Since he loved it, I made it again with Alu Bhindi and it was just perfect. The recipe is so perfect that even a klutzy cook like me can make errors with this, and still be successful with this :D Thanks Manisha. And Anita, of course ;)

Okay, I should stop no? Or, should I? I should. Okay, ta ta bye. Thank you.

P.S.- Since I always have to add something after I say bye - how the hell does one use Flickr? it blogs every time I add a pic? And no, don't tell me copy paste the code until you send me the code every time I post. Maybe, that is an incentive to post everyday. ya? Okay, apart from saying this is a great recipe ;), make sure to leave tips about Flickr ok? Ok.

38 comments:

Happy cook said...

Never knew the combo okra and potato, wish i knew them when i was living in India.Looks so so beautiful. Yeah i know how it is, when my sis visited us we too were so busy.

Bianca said...

Flikr is a mystery to me as well. I have an account and I've loaded pics onto it, but that's all I can do.

The potato dish looks out-of-this-world amazing!!! I need that in my belly now.

musical said...

Not that i can say much about Flickr, but alu-bhindi is my favorite too :). We used to get a similar plain bhindi in our mess as well. Actually dahi or kadhi go so well with bhindi, don't they. Perfect meal! Oh, and political issues in the mess, i soooooo hear you :).

Indhu said...

Bhindi fry is my favourite too... they used to serve this really greasy bhindi at a dhaba near my office on Fridays and I would go there every single Friday.. any idea why they serve bhindi in lesser quantities than the other veg? because they anyway become less when u cook them... so the cooks are left with less?

Superchef said...

i made the aloo bhindi fry for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! thanks :)

Nags said...

your pics look so good these days! love the way you have cut the potatoes!

As for flickr, they have changed the right-click option a bit so you have to click on the option that says "ad sizes' on top of the pic and then take the one line code (not the big chunk) and add it in the 'add image' box in blogger. Its slightly more painful than right clicking and copying image source but this way, our pics are safer.

ping me if none of that made sense :D

Manisha said...

You're a nut!

I love aloo. I love bhindi. I am crazy about aloo bhindi. I love bhindi in my kadhi, too.

Like you, I did not care for sugar in my food. But then my Guj husband who grew up everywhere but in Gujarat passed his genes onto my daughter. *sigh* Now I like some sugar in my food.

Glad the kadhi worked for you. Try the variations - they're pretty good, too!

What do you need to know about Flickr? It's primarily a photo sharing site with a huge community - very easy to get sucked into. And, um, not linking back to Flickr when using their servers to host your image is against their TOS.

Arch said...

Made this aloo bhindi for lunch now and it turned out yum ! When you going to Bangalore ? Ping me from there if you need some Gujju stuff from here...have a great time...

Natashya Kitchen Puppies said...

Looks tasty! I have never tried okra before. I don't know how to use flickr. I have a couple things that I abandoned there a while ago..

Jaya Wagle said...

Wish my hostel days were as adventurous as yours, but I was working by then and instead of eating the mounds of rice and watery curry, I just ate Indo Chinese. Never thought about all that MSG, sodium and grease. Ahh! the good old days, when you could eat anything and not worry.
On to your Aloo bhendi. I love that combo, since I am not a bhendi fan. My mom started adding aloo to just about every vegetable she could think of in the hopes I'll accidently try it. But I do love this combo, since T loves bhendi, so both of us get what we want.
I too learnt early on, that Gujju food leaves a lasting impression on a Konkani guy, born and brought up in Gujrat. My Maharashtrian kadhi is not as sweet and when T added spoonfuls of sugar to mine the first time, I thought he didn't like what I made. I know better now.
I will shut up now, before this comment turns into a post!

kellypea said...

You really have me laughing right now. I'm pretty busy right now, too, but sadly, my sister isn't here this year and she eats very little when she does visit. Your food sounds wonderful! I have very little experience with Indian food but have tried a few dishes myself and always enjoy it. Thanks for sharing the links here.

Oh Flickr, you have to click on one photo, then click on "All Sized" above the photo. Then you have to copy the code below the photo and paste it into the text of your post in HTML mode...you'll get the hang of it.

On bookmarking, use a free service such as de.lic.io.us. You can access them from any computer any time and if your computer fails, you'll still have your bookmarks.

delhibelle said...

Greasy is great, but not on fried stuff..i know, wierd logic.
I only like bhindis fried, roasted or with aloo,so this is great. Moreover, this recipe has the endorsement of a few hundred students..who am I to argue. Shall be tried really soon.

Cakelaw said...

This looks fabulous - and I am also a huge biryani fan. Hope you are enjoying your son's visit.

jestinemagness said...

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Sig said...

Oh I love the look of that potato-bhindi dish, so simple and the peanut crunch must be great for some well needed texture.

SJ said...

Nandu have you looked at Ranj's alu bhindi? almost the same with kasoori methi. Will try yours when the man is gone away on some trip. I like the addition of peanuts. Flickr I do what kellypea's written.

Bong Mom said...

I love Alu-Bhindi, never had one with peanuts though, can imagine that extra crunch this mallu Bhindi must be having ;-)

Savithri said...

Nice story to go along with your post:)

Do you post links to your recipes on Twitter with a certain hashtag?

Usha said...

Funnily I never seem to have tried aloo bhindi combination in a curry but the way you have described it makes me think I want to try, enjoyed your post....

DEESHA said...

yumm, talk about alu bhindi, I so totally love it .. reminds that that I haven't made it in a while

Cynthia said...

I often cook veggies with potatoes but never thought of doing so with okra. I have bookmarked this and will definitely be making it soon!

Happy Holidays!

Food Fanatic said...

mmmm tht looks yummy

simplyfood said...

potato okra look lovely and delicious 1st visit to your blog but not that last Happy New Year.

Bong Mom said...

Happy New Year guys

bee said...

have a happy, healthy, tasty 2010, dear a and n.

The Purple Foodie said...

So glad you're having so much fun with yout sister! Now I'm in the mood for some gulab jamuns even if it's breakfast time right now. hehe I love kadhi! Oy where is the link to your twitter - pls let me know and you should put it up on the blog (or did I miss it? Scrolled a few times from top to bottom!)

LG said...

Bhindi and Kadhi are perfect combo. My mom always prepared bhindi palya with majjige huli(Karnataka style kadhi)....slurrp..Aloo bhindi looks yummo. Happy New Year to you both :)

Ingrid said...

Well, I'm not going to be any help with flickr as I've not a clue myself so I hope you were schooled by other commenters and will share your new found knowledge! :)

Happy New Year!
~ingrid

Btw, will you let A know that I got a call from USSSA's FTB director that Devon was named player of the year for 13:U baseball! This is the second time in three years that he's been honored with it.

Jayashree said...

Have a happy new year, A & N

Aparna said...

That aloo bhindi with the peanuts is something I'd die for (well, not quite).
As for the kadhi, there's no Gujju connection here (unless you count my best friend is Gujju, or that my husband spent 4 years in Ahmedabad during college) but I love Kadhi and my husband hates it! :D

A crashing computer is great way to deal with bookmarks! Must try that one. LOL

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SP said...

Hi, Nandini...i found ur blog through facebook...and tried this recipe today..turned out really well :)....great blog! will keep coming back.. Shweta

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Susan said...

Beautiful okra dish.

I'm very active on Flickr and find it useful to upload photos that are significantly bigger than the best option Blogger gives you. And, yes, I cut and paste code the large code exactly where I want in my Blogger post body. If you let Blogger do it, the addition will always default to the start of your post, then you have to cut and paste it to position it elsewhere anyhow. It becomes second nature after a while.

Food Fanatic said...

mmm the bhindi looks terrific. i will try this recipe next time around.

Spice Rack said...

I never thought that vegetables with spices and herbs are good idea because I usually mix vegetables with fish and meat as a soup or as a salad dressing.

Alexa said...

heavely!i have to try this.hopefully i can make as perfect as yours!yum!