Bharwan bhindi is a spicy curry from Hyderabad. Bhindi is cooked with salan like gravy made with ground nut, sesame seeds, tamarind paste, and spices. Tamarind is an important part of my family recipes. I remember my mom keeping a stock of tamarind water and ground peanuts and sesame seeds always. This gravy goes well with capsicum, tomatoes, and even potatoes. Add tamarind water/paste based on your taste and the sourness of tamarind.
Cooking bhindi is a tricky (and sticky) job. Placing a plate filled with water on top helps the vegetable cook evenly without getting burnt. It makes the cooking process quicker too.
You can make the gravy in advance and freeze it too. Add vegetable (steamed) of your choice and you can have a curry ready in jiffy. This curry tastes best with phulka or paratha. You can try it with rice too.
- 15-18 okra (bhindi)
- 3 tbsp ground nuts (mung fali)
- 1 ½ tbsp sesame seeds (til)
- 2tbsp tamarind paste or tamarind water
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tbsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp oil
Wash bhindi in water and let it dry completely. Cut both the ends of the bhindi. Cut each bhindi into 2-3 pieces and make a slit in each piece. Roast and grind the ground nuts and sesame seeds. Heat oil in a kadhai or a non stick pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add chopped bhindi. Mix well and cover the pan/kadhai with a plate. Add water in the plate. This will help the bhindi cook evenly and it will also not let the curry burn.
Carefully check the bhindi every few minutes. 6-8 minutes should be enough. Once the bhindi is almost cooked, add the ground nuts and sesame seeds, tamarind water, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder and salt. Mix well. Add little water (1/4 – ½ cup) if the gravy looks too dry. Let it cook till oil floats on top (2-3 minutes). Add chopped coriander and served hot with rotis or rice.
Paneer is a must order curry for most of us when we eat out and it is also one of the most cooked dishes in my kitchen. I have done innumerable experiments (some were successful too) to cook restaurant style capsicum paneer gravy and never came as close as this one. Got this recipe from a friend and who in turn got it from a chef (connections you bet). This comes closest to the Paneer capsicum at the restaurants and that too without an overdose of butter.
I prepare the gravy in advance and use it with paneer, peas, capsicum, corn and even sandwich fillings when required. You can substitute oil with butter if required but it really does not alter the taste much. Fresh paneer tastes the best and if you are using frozen paneer, do dip it in hot water for few minutes before using it.
You can have this curry with roti and rice both. I have even tried it as a sandwich filling with whole wheat bread and it tastes superb!
- 4 tomatoes quartered
- 1 big onion quartered
- ¼ cup cashew nuts broken
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 ½ tsp kitchen king masala
- 1 small capsicum diced
- 1 cup paneer
- 1 small onion chopped
- ½ tsp honey
- 2 tsp kasoori methi (lightly roasted and crushed)
- 1 tbsp fresh cream for garnishing (optional)
Boil tomato, quartered onions, and cashew nuts for around 8-10 minutes. Drain the water and let the onions, tomatoes, and cashews cool down completely. Grind them to a fine paste and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a non stick pan. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped onions and capsicum. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes. Add paneer and mix well. Add the ground paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, kitchen king masala, and salt. Mix well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Add little water (2-3 tbsp) if you find the gravy too thick. Add honey and kasoori methi and mix. Cook for one more minute and switch off the heat. Garnish with a dollop of fresh cream and serve hot with roti or jeera rice.