For many Bengalis, dharosh (bhendi/okra/lady's finger) isn't their favourite vegetable. But this recipe, where the dharosh is fried and coated in a mildly pungent sauce of ground mustard and poppy seeds, may be one of the best ways to eat dharosh. The trick is to fry the okra on high heat until it is quite brown and cooking the sauce separately—only adding the fried dharosh in the end. This ensures that the bhendi has maximum flavour due to the caramelising of the sugars in the vegetable, and that it retains some texture instead of turning into a slimy, sloppy mess. Serve with dal and plain rice.
- 200 g dhyarosh (lady's finger; 4-cm long)
- 100 g potatoes (2-cm-thick wedges)
- 15 g tomato (diced)
- 20 g poppy seeds
- 20 g mustard seeds
- 4 pcs green chillies
- 100 g water
- 40 g mustard oil
- ¼ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 8 g salt
- 10 g sugar
- 6 g coriander leaves (finely chopped)
- Soak the mustard and poppy seeds in water for at least 2 hours. Strain and transfer to a grinder jar. Add 2 green chillies, 8 g salt and 100 g water, and grind everything to a smooth paste.
- Heat 40 g mustard oil in a pan until smoking lightly and pale yellow.
- Add the lady's finger and fry them until they are brown. Remove from the oil and set aside.
- Temper the same oil with dried red chillies and kaalo jeere.
- Add the potatoes and fry on medium heat until they turn golden (about 4 minutes). Add the tomato and fry for another minute before adding the mustard and poppy seed paste.
- Add turmeric and sugar, and sauté on medium heat until the raw smell of mustard and poppy goes away.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, add the fried lady's finger back to the pan. Cook everything for another 3 minutes or so, but don't let the lady's finger get too mushy or it will become slimy.
- Finish with 1 tsp raw mustard oil and chopped coriander leaves.