Bindi Masala ~ The search stops here!

If there are few things that I have been trying to prepare for my hubby dear, but unsuccessful so far, they must be surely be Bhindi Masala and Moong Dal Halwa. These are his most favorite dishes that he remembers eating in Delhi and has been asking me to prepare them at home over the years.

Bindi Masala is something I tried quite sometime and never succeeded in getting his approval. Infact I remember asking every Delhite I come across, if they know how Bindi Masala gets cooked in Delhi. Though I tried all, it was never the right one as per hubby dear. I have googled it many times, looked wherever possible, but the perfect one always eluded me.

This challenge has left me feeling very incompetent in cooking and I never really liked thinking about it. Of course he remembers other delicacies that he used to enjoy over in Delhi, which I believe is a foodies paradise. I have never been to Delhi, though we have been planning for a trip. He keeps telling me that during the trip, he will take me to all the dabbas that he used to frequent. And get me eat those excellent dishes like Shahi Paneer and Paneer Kulchas.

He says he has never seen anybody else cook these dishes as they were served in Delhi. For a person who is so well fed on authentic andhra dishes, this is something truly remarkable. So I think those dishes must've been really above the mark. We are planning to visit just for the foodie's enjoyment sometime later. Till then I got to dish out these to satisfy hubby dear.

Coming back to this dish I prepared, the other day while shopping I remembered that I have always wanted to prepare with Anardana and never actually got down to it. So finally came home with a packet of anardana, being well satisfied with myself. I remember the many dishes that Chef Sanjeev Kapoor used to prepare with the pomegranate seeds. Coming back home, all I did was just shoving the packet to the freezer. It has been lying around for about 2-3 weeks now I guess. Athamma, while searching for something else, found this and asked me what it was it. It was always behind my mind that I should get around doing something with it.

Yesterday while thinking about AFAM, saw Nags posting her beautiful Curd Rice with Pomegranate, I realized that I have been planning to send this finally, if nothing works out. It then struck me that I have anardana and I can do something with that. And I have been pestering hubby dear to get this fruit, he persists in getting only papaya and it's ending up as halwa! The thoughts persisted and I went home determined to do something about it.

Situation at home seemed rather placid for me to venture into kitchen. so out came Sanjeev's book out and I leafed through it. I remember seeing couple of dishes with Anardana. Bingo, one with a Lady's finger, another with an aloo. Of course, with Aloo it will be three birds with one shot. But time was precious at the moment. So glanced through both the recipes and found the Bhindi to be very simple. I passed on the book to hubby dear and asked if it looks appealing. He asked if it was spicy or sweet. I said it should be spicy, for which he asked, "So what are those fresh seeds doing on that. Don't you dare prepare something with chili and decorate with seeds"

With my sensible sentiments offended, I said I will not decorate mine with those seeds (in mind, my thoughts were, of course my blog pictures were never so glamorous). Seeing that I am in full swing to proceed to kitchen, he asked with an appalled tone, if I was about to venture into something new. I said yeah if time permits. Well I guess I was little too early. It turned out that he planned to go out and I ended up playing with the kids. By the time they returned, it was time for dinner and hubby dear said he was really very hungry. I guess this is the fastest thing I have ever prepared. It took all about 5 mins or so.

Well here comes Bindi Masala finally to rescue.

I had everything ready and added to the kadai and simmered it for 5 mins. By the time, I got the other things to table, Bhindi Masala was ready. I know now comes the tough part. I had to hurry to get the camera. I could see two eyes boring behind my back. I just couldn't bother. I came running with the camera and click click, only two pictures for the blog and the plate is all yours Sir, I said! Well I can't claim my moment of glory if I don't have those pictures, can I? And seeing his expression and the praises that followed, well I just couldn't believe that this is what, he has been asking for all these years. I was too happy beyond words to ask him anything more. My search of many years finally got over and I have successfully hit the right one. I think of kismet and wonder! That book has been with me for many years and yet I searched high and low for that recipe.

Ingredients Needed

Bindi / Lady's finger/ Okra - 6 tender ones
Onions - 1 medium
Oil - 1 tsp

Masala Paste:

Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Anardana powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Method to prepare:

Clean and wipe the Bindi dry. Trim the crown and tips. Make a deep slit in the middle. Chop Onions as juliennes. Keep aside

If you have the Anardana seeds, then slightly dry roast and make a fine powder. Fine powder may not be possible. But not real coarse. Store in air tight container.

In bowl, take all the masalas and mix well with oil. Take this and stuff into the Bindi.

Heat a pan or kadai with oil. Sauté the onions till they are light brown in colour. Add the stuffed Bindi and add another tsp of oil if required. Cover with lid and simmer for 5 mins or till the bindi is cooked. Best would be to select tender ones as they will get cooked faster. Also I chopped the bindi into two after adding to the pan. This had them getting cooked very fast.

This, I am sending to Sra who is hosting AFAM with Pomegranate this month. Well if she can cook with the leaves, I guess she won't say no to the seeds in the curry, of course, I got to remember to send the photo as per her wish!

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