for the tomato paste:

3 medium ripe red tomatoes or 150 grams or ¾ cup roughly chopped tomatoes
½ inch ginger/adrak
4 to 5 garlic/lahsun
1 to 2 green chilies/hari mirch
2 tbsp yogurt/dahi/curd
2 cloves/lavang
1 green cardamom/choti elachi
½ inch cinnamon/dal chini
1 single strand of mace/javitri

other ingredients:

250 grams bhindi/okra/lady finger
1 large onion or 2 medium onions or 100 grams onions or ½ cup finely chopped onions
½ tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves, crushed
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
1 small to medium tej patta or bay leaf
¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
½ tsp red chilli powder/lal mirch powder
½ tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
½ tsp cumin powder/jeera
2 tbsp oil for sauteing bhindi
2 tbsp oil for making gravy
salt as required

How to make bhindi masala gravy :

. first rinse 250 grams okra/bhindi very well in running water a few times. then drain them completely in a strainer or colander.
. wipe each okra with a kitchen napkin. there should be no moisture on them. you can also allow them to dry naturally at room temperature, by spreading them in a large plate or tray.
. chop the okra into 1.5 to 2.5 inch pieces. keep aside.
. in a grinder or blender jar, take ¾ cup roughly chopped ripe red tomatoes, ½ inch chopped ginger, 4 to 5 chopped garlic cloves and 1 or 2 green chilies, chopped.
. add 2 tbsp fresh full fat curd/dahi/yogurt along with 2 cloves, 1 green cardamom, ½ inch cinnamon and 1 single strand of mace.
. without adding water, grind or blend to a smooth paste. keep aside covered.
. heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai or pan. add the okra and saute them on a low flame.
. stir and saute them till they are almost cooked, shrinked and lightly browned from the sides.
. when done remove the sauteed okra and place them in a plate or tray.

preparing the gravy:

. in the same kadai or pan, add 2 tbsp oil. add tej patta and fry for about 5 to 7 seconds.
. add the ½ cup finely chopped onions.
stir well.
. saute the onions till they start to turn light golden.
. lower the flame. then add ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp coriander powder and ½ tsp cumin powder.
. stir the spice powders quickly. you can also switch off the stove top while adding and mixing spices powders, so that they don’t get burned.
. add the tomato- curd paste that we made before. be careful while adding ground paste as it splutters.
stir well.
. on a low flame saute till the masala paste thickens and you see oil leaving the sides.
. add about ¾ cup water and stir very well. you can also add ½ to ⅔ cup water for a thick gravy or ¾ cup water for medium gravy
. season with salt as required.
. add the sauteed okra. stir again.
. bring the curry to a simmer on a medium flame. cook for about 5 to 6 minutes till the gravy get infused with the aroma and flavor of the okra. don’t cook bhindi in the gravy for longer time as then they become mushy.
. add ½ tsp kasuri methi, crushed. if you want, you can also add 1 or 2 tbsp of low fat cream at this step.
. stir and then add 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves. stir again and switch off the stove top.
. serve bhindi masala gravy garnished with a few coriander leaves or straightaway with chapatis or parathas.



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