Bendekaya Gojju Okra and Tamarind curry
Gojju in English means pulp and it is generally always a tangy and spicy dish with jaggery and a souring agent such as tamarind or hog plums.
However there are many variations for gojju across the southern states of India. A classic Karnataka dish Gojju can be a mashed eggplant gojju, a soupy onion (eruli) curry, a thick raisin curry(ona draksha) even a thin tamarind flavoured gravy.
TIP-To prevent Okra from getting gummy during the cooking process wipe the whole vegetable with a slightly damp cloth and then again with a dry one. Do not wash the okra in running water.
250 Gram tender whole Bhindi (lady finger or okra)
1 1/2 Tbsp Tamarind concentrate
Jaggery and salt to taste
For dry masala:
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon split Bengal gram or urad dal
For wet masala paste:
1 Cup Desiccated coconut
1 tsp small black Mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp Uncooked rice
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
8 Bedgi dried red chillies, stalks and seeds removed
2 tbsp vegetable Oil
3 Whole dry red Bedgi or Kashmiri chilies
1/2 tsp small black Mustard seeds
1.In a dry skillet on medium heat dry roast all the ingredients for the dry masala until fragrant. Stir to prevent burning about 2 minutes. Cool completely then grind into a fine powder. Feel it between your fingertips to make sure it is finely ground and doesn’t feel coarse.
Wet masala paste:
1.In a dry skillet roast all the ingredients for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Cool then grind to a coarse consistency. Add some water, a tablespoon at a time and keep grinding until you have a smooth chutney like paste.
For the okra
Wipe okra clean with a slightly damp cloth. Avoid washing it. Once clean wipe with a dry cloth to remove any liquid. Snip a little bit of the end off- just the tip and slice off the head.
Heat 4 tsp of oil in a skillet on high heat (copper clad if you have one as it facilitates quick browning) and saute the whole okra, turning from time to time until golden brown and blistered on all sides.
Add the ground paste, lower heat to medium and stir well about 2-3 minutes to coat the okra and cook the spices. Stir constantly.
Add 3 cups of water and the ground spices. Stir in tamarind and a teaspoon of jaggery and salt. Cook until gravy has thickened and the okra is tender. If required add more water to ensure okra is cooked.
Adjust for salt and jaggery.
In a small skillet heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil, add all the ingredients for tadka/temper and saute for about 30 seconds without burning them.
Pour the tadka over the bhindi and serve hot. Stir well before serving with hot rice or chapatis.