Healthy and Delicious Stir Fry Okra

Udupi-style lady’s finger stir fry or bendekai is a dish that can be had on repeat mode. Easy to make with such unique flavors, the recipe is a sure bet for taking a boring meal to another level. In this dish, bhindi, bendekai, okra or lady’s finger are tempered with spices and coconut. It is also an ideal dish for a lunch box.

Lady’s finger is a vegetable immensely rich in protein, vitamin A, B, C and K1. While vitamin K1 is a fat-soluble vitamin recognized for its role in blood clotting, vitamin C, an essential water-soluble element, supports the body’s overall immune function. Okra contains polyphenols, including flavonoids and isoquercetin. A particular class of protein called lectin is found in okra, which can prevent the development of human cancer cells. Mucilage, a thick gel-like material found in okra, can stick to cholesterol during digestion, preventing it from being absorbed by the body and causing it to be excreted in the stool.

It also contains calcium, potassium and folic acid. The vegetable may also play a role in diabetes management and offers health benefits due to its low calorie content and high levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Being rich in magnesium, lady’s finger keeps migraine under control. With a low glycemic index of 20, bhindi is effective in managing blood sugar spikes. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids, it is a good choice for memory and brain health.

This dish belongs to the sublime Udupi cuisine. Very close to Mangaluru, in the Western Ghats, is the temple town of Udupi. Udupi food is believed to have originated in the kitchens of Lord Krishna’s temple, where the Shivalli Brahmins began creating elegant dishes. Associated with temples, the cuisine is largely sattvic with no onion or garlic. Needless to say, it is dominated by vegetarian food.

Udupi kitchen has quite a few okra recipes, such as Bendekai Saasmi. But today we are presenting another bhindi recipe which is palya or a dry preparation. It is a stir fry prepared in the Udupi style that can be served with rice and rasam.

Ingredients:

  • 250 g ladyfinger
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon brown sugar

To grind:

  • ⅓ cup coconut
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 red chillies

For Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon white lentils
  • some curry leaves

Method:

  • Take 250 gms ladies finger. Wash, clean and chop the vegetables.
  • In a skillet, add 1 tablespoon of oil, ½ teaspoon of mustard oil, ½ teaspoon of white lentils and sauté until they begin to crisp.
  • Add some curry leaves.
  • Transfer the chopped ladies’ finger to the skillet and mix.
  • Add ½ teaspoon brown sugar, marble-sized tamarind juice (soaked).
  • Add 1.5 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder and stir well but gently.
  • Cover it with a lid and let it cook until soft over low heat.
  • Open the lid after 5-6 minutes and stir gently.
  • In a blender ⅓ cup grated coconut, one dried red chili, one hot red chili, ½ teaspoon mustard seeds.
  • Coarse ground without water.
  • Add this mixture to the cooking lady’s finger and mix well.
  • Extinguish the flame after two minutes.
  • The lady’s potato chip is ready. Serve it with chapati or combine it with rice and rasam.

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