Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hyderabadi Dahi Bhindi Masala

This recipe is from my favorite blog - Edible Garden. Its my go-to-place for new recipes, ideas to use-up whats in my pantry and last but not least drooling over the beautiful food pictures. Nags - you are an inspiration :-)

When I read this recipe - I realized that for the first time I had every single ingredient listed at home and it took me just 30 minutes to get this dish done. It tastes just like a restuarant dish - a bit rich and heavy for an everyday lunch but would definitely be a party pleaser!.

Now to the main ingredient in this dish - Vendakkai aka Lady's Finger aka Okra. I remember as kids, we were told that eating ladies finger will "give you more brains" , "make you good at maths" (really!!). I did google it to check if the brain boosting properties were a myth or a reality. This is what i found.  The nutrition details of vendakkai reads like the ingredient list on a multivitamin bottle -  vitamins C, A, E, K, and B complex, as well as iron, calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, and phyto-nutrients. I dont know if it really increases brain mass as my grandmother believed - but it does help with digestion, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases.

Whether it is healthy or not, vendakkai continues to reign the hearts of most people and suits a wide range of cuisines. Today's recipe is Hyderabadi Dahi Bhindi - a dish that looks complex but is actually super easy to prepare. Go ahead and try it. It will garner quite a few "wows" at your dinner table.

Recipe Source: Edible Garden (orignally from Monsoon Spice)


1kg - Vendakkai / Okra / Lady's Finger
1 large onion, finely chopped
1T Tomato Paste (substitute with 2 large tomatoes)
1 t Ginger Garlic Paste
1 cup Curd
1 T grated coconut
6-8 cashews
1T milk
1t Red chilly powder
1t Garam Masala
1t Coriander powder
1/2t Turmeric
1t Kasuri Methi (Dried Methi leaves0
1/2t Amchur powder (Dried mango powder)
salt to taste

For Seasoning:

1t Mustard seeds
1t Urad Dal
1/2 t Cumin seeds
3 Dried Red Chilly
1 pinch of asafoetida
1 sprig of curry leaves
1t oil


1. Slice the vendakkai into discs and smear a pinch of salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Soak the cashews in 1 tablespoon of milk for 10 minutes and grind to a paste along with the coconut.
3. Heat oil in a pan and roast the vendakkai until crisp. You can also deep fry them. Remove and set aside.
4. In the same pan, heat the remaining oil and season with items given under seasoning
5. Add the onions and fry until soft.
6. Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes. Add all the powders and mix well.
7. Add the tomato paste / chopped tomatoes and fry well. I have used tomato paste and therefore added some water to dilute it and mix well.
8. Add the ground paste and fry well.
9. Add the curd and simmer.
10. Add the kasoori methi, salt and mix. Continue on simmer. If you find the gravy thick, then add some water.
11. Add the fried vendakkai/okra pieces and mix well. Allow flavors to meld (about 2 to 3 minutes)
12. Serve hot with pulao or rotis.


  • If you want vendakkai that does not turn sticky while cooking, remember to leave them at room temperature for two days after you bring them home. They tend to wilt a little bit and thats when the stickiness doesnt show up.
  • The original recipe calls for an optional pinch of sugar which I have omitted.
  • The recipe can be used with paneer or mixed vegetables or even cauliflower.


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