May 13, 2010
A week is a long time. I was all glow post new book. Until the UK General Election knocked it out of me.
Let me make a brief attempt to summarise the drama that has unfolded. Two main parties, both equally detested. Neither gets a straight majority. The result is Hung Parliament. The third political party, rises to prominence, in the bid to form a government.
Dithering political leaders are next locked in discussions about political and electoral reform at a time when the economy is in the doldrums. People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. The result: the most unlikely political marriage in the history of the nation.
Let’s hope this one doesn’t end up in the divorce courts.
Of course, I am no expert. But given this was the first General Election that I have ever voted in, it certainly got my blood boiling. I decided to stay cool with a spot of summer cooking. With Bhindi Raita – that’s spiced and chilled savoury yogurt with okra or ladies’ fingers.
Bhindi’s are infamously slimy. The trick to banish slime is to wash them thoroughly in cold water before you slice them. Now, some may recommend lovingly wiping them dry but I just leave them to drip dry in a colander over a clean sink while I get on with the rest of my cooking. Then slice and marvel.
The way to get the bhindi really crispy without using too much oil, I have discovered, is to coat them in a bit of oil and grill them rather than fry. Tossed into ice cold, stirred natural yogurt, these little beauties will delight whatever the week has dished up.
Prepare the okra as above in my introduction. Preheat the grill to a medium setting.When it’s hot, grill the cumin on a baking tray for a few seconds, then crush into a fine powder and keep for later.
In a shallow rectangular dish, stir the yogurt with salt to your taste and leave to chill in the fridge. If using black salt, don’t add salt now.
Next mix the okra pieces with the turmeric and oil in a bowl. Place on a lined baking sheet in a single layer on the baking tray you used for the cumin and grill for 8-10 minutes until sizzling and crispy.
When they are done, mix into the yogurt. Sprinkle the freshly ground cumin powder and chilli powder on top and half a teaspoon of black salt (if you are using it). Serve Bhindi Raita chilled as soon as possible.
“Slime-free!” Sounds perfect! lol
Will you be bringing us any more great recipes anytime soon? I miss trying out what you guys bring to the table.
Great recipe! Thanks for sharing.
Lovely recipe, I like your suggestion of grilling the bhindi beforehand. My girlfriend is a big Raita fan so this will make a nice nice change.
Hey my first time here, Mallika and I am already lovin’ it.
My native place is Goa and my mom made this recipe sometimes. She added grated coconut (like they do it in every recipe in Goa!) and roasted-crushed peanuts along with it. She also put “ghee-mustard-asafetida tadka” just before serving.
Hmmm… The smell of mom’s cooking. Makes me nostalgic!
Again, thanks for a quick and easy recipe
Neat and lovely site…first time here
I love Okra but never tried to cook myself. Well your blog tempted me to do this. thanks for it!
lovely pic and recipe…thanks for this one Malika
Just got your book today in my bundle from the Book People. I live nearly 2 hours away from the nearest oriental store so miss the good things I used to get in London. However, I did a spice run down south to Newcastle (!) a while ago and have most of the items including a stock of frozen curry leaves. Like your sassy writing style and low fat recipes – I have been making short cuts on Sri Lankan ones and have learned it IS OK. Many of the items you describe are unavailable out in the sticks. There is a good dealer called Spices of India who does mail order – carriage free after Â£30. So when I want the drumsticks and other items I can spend a week getting my list together. This guy even does gamboge. I also like Middle Eastern food and wish there was a similar merchant. I hope you get a TV series.
I love Okra, have since I was just a kid. This recipe looks incredible, it will be made in the next few weeks here!
Lovely dish – i love raitas with any of my curries – so cooling ….
Mallika!! Darling, I LOVE your website and blog and can’t wait to get my hands on your book! I had no idea you were up to such fun stuff.
I love Bhindi Raita! Like you, I too try to crisp up my bhindi with minimal oil! I usually pop in the oven for a bit but I do like the idea of grilling them too
Been a while since I made the bhindi raita. Time to make it now!
I couldn’t vote in this one, but was still glued to the screens. I really wonder where this most unlikely politics marriage will take us.
If I remember to, and I usually do, I wash them, wipe them roughly and spread them on paper and air-dry overnite. I love this dish, must make it again!
Liberal democrats and conservatives sharing power! Strange bedfellows indeed.
I am glad you cooled off with this tasty raita. There is no dearth of blood boiling these days.
Hah! Maybe you’re a bit psychic or something. Have you found the other okra recipes on this site yet? Great one with grated coconut.
I bought some okra for the first time in years today. I thought ‘when I get home I’ll look at quick Indian cooking to see if there is an okra curry recipe’. I didn’t even get that far; this okra recipe popped up in my RSS reader.
Too many spooky coincidences have occurred today. It’s freaking me out.