Bhindi (Whole Okra/Ladies Fingers) Bhaji/Sabji, Oven Cooked
Bhindi Bhaji Oven Cooked (Bharwa Like)
This is a simple way of cooking bhajies (Indian vegetables cooked in spices). I use it to cook many vegetables, especially when cooking large quantities. It saves me the trouble of keeping stirring the vegetables and they turns out crispy and tasty. Do not worry about the quantity of oil, because when you lift out the vegetables at the end, the oil is mostly left behind in the tray. I have cooked it in north Indian style here, but you can choose to use any spice mixes you prefer. Serves 6.
The pictures here show larger quantities than specified.
500 gm. ladies finger or okra or bhindi
1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced (you can increase or decrease the amount)
1 heaped tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or grated (optional)
A couple of fresh red or green chillies sliced. Red ones look nicer
1 tsp. cumin seeds (jeera) or dark mustard seeds (Rai) or Panch Pooran . each will give you a slightly differenrt flavour
1 level tsp. turmeric powder
1 full tsp. coriander powder
1 full tsp. coarsely ground fennel seeds (saunf)
1/2 tsp. or less chilli powder or chilli flakes
1 lemon or lime, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
2 tbsp. cooking oil for coating vegetables. Mustard oil goes better with Bhindies
4-6 tbsp. oil for cooking
Wash and dry bhindies thoroughly. Any water left on the surface will make them slimy during cooking. I wash them and leave them on a towel for a few hours/overnight. You can wipe them with a towel.
Top and tail and make a slit on the side of each bhindi.
Turn oven on to 200C (19C fan-oven)/400F/gas mark 6.
Prepare ginger, garlic, onion and lemon/lime.
Place bhindies, ginger and garlic, lemon slices in a bowl. Sprinkle all spices on top, add mustard oil and onions. Mix well with your fingers, to coat vegetables well.
Place bhindies on an aluminium foil lined baking tray. Using the foil saves washing up later.
Pour about 4-6 tbsp. or more of oil (mustard or other). The oil is required so that it can splash over bhindies during cooking, just like when you are cooking roast potatoes. Mix thoroughly.
Transfer to the tray, spread evenly. Spread lemon slices evenly on top.
Place the tray in the oven and allow to cook for 30 minutes, keeping an eye on them during cooking. This is because oven performances vary. You may cook them slightly longer or shorter than 30 minutes, depending upon how you like them.
When they are sizzling and look a little crisp, take them out of the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Place lemon slices on top to garnish. Serve hot as part of an Indian meal or with Parathas and natural yoghurt.