Recipe: Okra with Onions and Spices (Bhindi Pyaaz) from Ananda

A standout veggie dish that's fragrant with Indian spices.
Recipe: Okra with Onions and Spices (Bhindi Pyaaz) from Ananda
Toasted spices, okra, and onions go into this terrific vegetarian dish. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

“No table should be without at least one preparation of vegetables, which are handled with such care that it’s tempting to think of them as holy offerings,” restaurant critic Todd Kliman writes in his review of Indian restaurant Ananda. “If it can be only one, make it the bhindi pyaaz.” Making this okra dish at home will likely require a trip to an Indian market for ingredients like ginger paste and mango powder, but the end result is worth it. Serve the okra with roti or rice.

Serves 4

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

1½ cups thinly sliced onions

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 pinch mango powder

2 teaspoons ginger paste

1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies

1 tablespoon water

3 cups sliced okra (cut into 1” pieces)

Salt, to taste

Heat the oil in a non-stick wok set over a medium flame. Add the cumin seeds and nigella seeds and sauté for 30 seconds. When the seeds crackle, add the onions and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until their edges are slightly golden. Add the turmeric powder, mango powder, ginger paste, green chilies and water, mix well and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the okra, season with salt, mix well and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until they become a little tender. Serve immediately.

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