Eggs, eggs and more eggs.
Maybe it’s just me, but the last thing a five year old needs is two dozen candy filled eggs. Thankfully, my kid cares only for the occasional bouncy ball that may find its way in one of the eggs. The candy, he just dumps out or shares it with his friends.
If two Easter egg hunts weren’t exciting enough, we finally finished staining and filling up the 6x6 sandbox that he finished building last week. It had been sitting empty for almost a week before our good neighbors helped us haul 33 bags of sand back home. After an hour of hauling and emptying the 50 lb bags, the sandbox was full, the kid was happy and we were exhausted.
Yes, it is as big as it looks! (6X6)
No dinner was cooked that day. We had some eggs and bread, the kid a rava bhakri, which will be a post for another day. Today, after another exhausting day of dentist appointment, bathroom cleaning and carting the kid to and fro from school, the dinner was simple. The kid had dosas with leftover dal from the morning. He got a vegetable Panini for me from his office canteen which I had with some guacamole that he made and a few asparagus that I stir fried on the skillet.
For him, I made bhendi chi kurkurit bhaji (stir fried crispy okra). I say for him, because I have never liked the slimy vegetable, even though it turns crunchy and not-at-all-slimy when cooked to a crisp on slow to medium flame. But he likes it, so every so often I will pick up a bunch of okra for him. He likes it with a little bit more oil than usual and with lots of caramelized onions. So that’s how I make it.
Bhendi, Bhindi, Okra, ladyfinger. A cross-section of the slimy veggie
Do you see a pattern here that I mentioned in my last post, about doing things for each other? Though I have to admit, cooking okra this way is ridiculously simple, with just red chili powder and salt to spice it up. However, I am told that the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the crisp bite of the okra is a divine combination. My brother and sister swear by it and so does my better half. So, I give you bhendi chi kurkurit bhaji, which loosely translates to crispy stir fried okra.
I do have a few tips at the end of the post to get the crisp okra that is so desired but so easy to mess up into a slimy sludge. So do read them carefully before you go chopping and stirring some okra and onions in your pan.
Bhendichi Kurkurit Bhaji
1-2 tblsps oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 cups of chopped onion, preferably red
2 cups of okra, cut into thin circles or slim stripes
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a wide pan and add the mustard seeds. As they start to sputter, lower the heat, add the turmeric powder and stir. Quickly add the red chili powder and the chopped onions, followed by the okra.
Our goal here is to minimize stirring in order to prevent possible sliminess that may occur. Sprinkle salt to taste, gently stir everything and cook uncovered on medium low flame for 20-25 minutes or till cooked through and crispy. Stir in between as needed. Serve with chappatis, dal and rice.
Try to stir the okra as little as possible. The more you stir, the slimier it will get.
Do not and I repeat, Do Not, cover the pan at any stage of cooking the okra. It will get slimy.
Try to use a pan with a bigger surface area so as not to crowd the okra and subsequently steam it. The less crowded it is, the less slimy it will be.
Don’t put any water or liquids of any sort in the pan.