Dildar’s Bhindi (Indian Style Okra)

Bhindi: stir-fried, spicy okra.

Here’s a little something extra from Dildar (aka Guru) whom you might remember from his delectable aloo tikki with tamarind chutney. This time (actually he cooked this at the same time as he cooked the other dishes – oh, the wonders of editing) he prepared bhindi (Indian style, stir-fried okra). It’s such a simple and delicious dish that I wonder why I haven’t attempted it before. Oh, yeah the main ingredient: okra.  I didn’t grow up eating it, my parents never cooked it and when I’d had it in the past, it had been prepared  in the Indian style or deep fried in the tradition of American Southern cooking. Okra is a tricky little vegetable because as you cook it, it tends to ooze a slimy liquid which wikipedia terms “mucilagenous” which might very well be my new favorite word.  It basically means “snotty” – not the most appetizing quality in a food.  But Dildar has a great tip for minimizing this.  Basically he… oh I guess you’ll just have to watch the video.

Bhindi Recipe:
Ingredients (quantities are approximate)
1 – 1 1/2 lbs of okra
2 medium yellow onions
1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp chili pepper
1/2 tsp garam masala
lime juice (to taste)

And here’s how he does it…


Dildar’s Aloo Tikki and Tamarind Chutney

Beautiful aloo tikki with homemade yogurt and tamarind chutney

In the brief time I’ve known Dildar (aka Guru) and his wife Roompa, they have proven themselves to be not only witty and attractive (perfect date material – good thing they’re married to each other), but also gracious hosts and fantastic cooks. Together with Alka (also a fantastic cook), they are The Foodist Colony. Once a month or so, they cook for and host supper club during which they prepare a delicious multi-course meal (each course is served with a drink or cocktail of Dildar’s creation) for a select number of lucky guests . Now, I have yet to partake in one of these fabled meals, but I will soon. To tide me over, I was fortunate enough to invite myself over to Dildar and Roompa’s apartment to video and sample one of Dildar’s childhood favorites: aloo tikki served with tamarind chutney.

It’s tough being me. I know. But that’s why this blog exists – to share with all of you, the delicious things I get to eat. Count Dildar’s aloo tikki among them. And count yourselves lucky to be given his recipe and these oh so informative cooking videos. Please enjoy!

Dildar’s Aloo Tikki Recipe:
3 – 5 russet potatoes
2-3 red onions (diced)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper (white)
1 tsp ground coriander seeds (roasted)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 egg (for egg wash
panko bread crumbs
canola oil (for frying)

Here’s how he does it:

Tamarind Chutney Recipe:
2 cups of water
3 tbsp of tamarind paste/ concentrate
1 tsp roasted ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 -1/2 tsp black salt
1/2 tsp pepper (white)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp sugar

This is how he does it:


Shefali’s Palak Paneer

And now in contrast to the previous post, we bring you something completely vegetarian AND delicious (yes, such things do exist): palak paneer – aka saag paneer. In English it translates to spinach cheese which doesn’t quite do it justice because it’s such a rich and sumptuous, complex dish that when you’re eating it, you can’t believe that it’s just well, basically spinach with some chunks of tofu textured cheese. And as prepared by my beautiful wife Shefali, you’ll see how easy it is to cook. Click on the picture below for the full recipe and video.

Shef slaving over a hot stove


Shefali’s Baigan Burtha

And we’re back and with a recipe to boot! It has been a while. I know. Right now winter is quickly descending upon us in the northern hemisphere and for those of us who live in areas like NYC that means, winter jackets, hats, gloves and lots of roasted root vegetables, soups and if you’re me, heavy meaty stew type dishes. Well here’s a dish that will take you back to summer with it’s light vibrant flavors and fresh ingredients.  Also, I shot this video a few months ago when it was summer.  All good things taken time.  Isn’t that what they say? So really, it’s not so much a seasonal dish so much as a delicious one. If you can get eggplant, you can make baigan burtha.   This is Shefali’s take on it. By the way, this is also Shef’s you-food debut as a contributing cook – she’s been seen as a contributing eater several times.  So, I hope you enjoy the full video and the recipe.

Shef cooks up burtha