October 11, 2008

Stuffed Lady's Finger

More and more vegetables get added to my repertoire every week and this is something that I am very proud of. People tell me that Lady’s Finger is the first vegetable they learnt to cook. I can’t say the same. The very first time that I cooked this vegetable was only last year. Prior to that, all I ever did with it was out it in Sambar... which reminds me of this conversation with my colleague:

A: So, you’ll make sam-burr tonight?
Raaga: Yeah. I have some bhindi sitting in the fridge. I think I’ll use that up to make sam-baar.
A: Eeks… you never put things like bhindi in sam-burr! You can use carrot, beans and lauki, not bhindi yaar.
Raaga: No, no. Bhindi, baingan etc in sam-baar are considered delicacies.
A: Oh God, no! You really are a cocktail case yaar.

I suppose that last sentence defines me. Hybrid, cocktail, mixed parentage. Any deviations from traditional cooking is usually blamed on this thing. Coming back to the recipe here and this particular vegetable in question. I never really liked Lady's Finger much. I think it was because my brother loved it so much. I will post the recipe of Amma’s famous Vendakkai Karumadhu someday soon. That was the staple I grew up with. Pachadi and Huli were never standard fare. Fried lady’s finger featured in my hostel menu once a week and I would allow it to soak in my bowl of curds, allowing my thoughts to wander home. This recipe was picked up off the internet by a friend who brought it for us one evening. I learnt the recipe from her and made it a few weeks later. That one weekend, I did a lot of work. I chopped all the vegetables for the week and froze them. I even prepared vegetables for stuffed vegetable dishes and this is the result of just that.

¼ kg Lady’s Finger

To be mixed together:

1 tbsp Chopped Garlic
1/4 cup Gram Flour (Besan)
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
½ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Lime Juice
Salt to taste

For the tempering:

2 tsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

Wash the lady’s finger well and dry on a towel until completely dry. Chop the crown off and make slits in each.

Stuff the prepared mixture into the lady's fingers.

In a pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida and the stuffed lady's fingers. Cover and cook on a low flame till the lady's fingers are done (about 15 minutes). Remove the lid and allow to crispen.

This makes for a great side with rice and dal. I'm fairly certain it would make a great snack with cocktails. Thanks Ginny. This is a keeper recipe!


Aparna Balasubramanian said...

I like ladies' finger ina anything so long as it stays crisp (which doesn't include in sambhar, which I like). And these look very crisp and nice.
Why did your colleague think bhindi doesn't go in sambhar?

sra said...

I've made this, without the besan and with amchur. Just too lazy to make it but your post inspires ...

Anonymous said...

Isn't this a part of Gujarati cuisine? I once saw a lady making this on TV, and she also stuffed coconut in it. And it looked yummy!

Unknown said...

I have had only stuffed eggplants..This looks spicy n nice..And Raaga I made potato buns today inspired by your buns!

Anonymous said...

This is a regular affair at our home,since this is one spicy way to have bhindis..the only difference is of besan....and yeah i have problem in keeping the bhindis whole i.e most of time they get mashed up..i guess i tend to overcook them....urs look perfect