Saturday, May 22, 2021

BHENDA SASAM ( LADY'S FINGER CURRY )

 BHENDA SASAM ( LADY'S FINGER CURRY )

In these days of Covid 19, we home makers have sharpened our skills in planning meals and buying/ ordering vegetables and fruits. We try to make the best out of difficult circumstances prevailing in all parts of India, and indeed the world. 

Called Bhindi in Hindi, Bhenda in my mother tongue, Konkani and Bendekai in Kannada, lady's fingers/okra has numerous health benefits. It is strong in Vitamins and has good quantity of proteins as well. It is said to have positive control on blood sugar, especially for diabetics. 

I make it a point to use lady's fingers in my cooking from time to time. Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with lady's fingers/okra such as:- 

Last week I had made Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu and found that I had enough lady's fingers/okra from that order to make one more dish. 

I immediately decided to make Bhenda Sasam, a popular dish in our Konkani cuisine. In my house we are very fond of this and I make it the way my Amma used to. Though we call it Bhenda Sasam, in this version we do not add any mustard for grinding but only for the seasoning. 

One advantage of this dish is that you can put to use the not so tender lady's fingers as well since they will be deep fried. In case you are using curds in place of buttermilk, whisk the curds in adequate water before use. 

Bhenda Sasam is served as a side dish with the main meal of rice and dal. 


Ingredients:-

  • Bhenda (Lady's Fingers/Okra), 18-20 nos. or 250 gms 
  • Salt, 
  • Oil, as required for deep frying
For The Masala:
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1 cup
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 2
  • Buttermilk, 1 cup
  • Asafoetida, a large piece or 1/4 tsp Asafoetida Powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tsp for roasting the red chillies and asafoetida 
For The Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 1 sprig
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tsp
Method:-

Wash the lady's fingers and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel. 
Snip off both the ends and cut them into roundels. 
Sprinkle a little salt, mix well and keep aside. 
Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry the lady's fingers till they turn crisp and golden brown in colour 
Transfer the deep fried lady's fingers on to absorbent paper to remove the excess oil. Keep aside.





In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and sauté the asafoetida for a few seconds till it gives off a good aroma. Keep aside 
In the same pan, roast the Byadgi Red Chillies 
Next, grind together the coconut gratings along with the roasted asafoetida and red chillies and the buttermilk to a smooth paste 
Transfer the ground paste to a bowl, add salt and mix well. If the ground masala is too thick, you can add a little water

In the same pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds
Pour this seasoning on to the Bhenda Sasam masala
Finally, add the deep fried lady's fingers just before serving the Bhenda Sasam as they should be crisp 
Serve Bhenda Sasam as a side dish to the main meal of rice and dal 

Tips: 
# The buttermilk used should be fresh yet a little sour 
# The coconut gratings used must be fresh as this dish is not boiled 





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