Continuing with her love for Okra, London-based Parna, a nutritionist and fitness expert, shares with us her version of Dhainrosher Jhaal from Bengal, which she calls Baked Mustard Okra. It’s hot, tangy and full of nutritional value, a reason enough to fall in love with this vegetable. Read more about it, in this week’s column, exclusively in Different Truths.
We are living in an age of sequels where everything comes in parts, from books to cinemas and now to articles. So, this is in continuation to my previous article, My love for Okra. Here is the link, in case you haven’t read it before: http://www.differenttruths.com/wellness/health/my-love-for-okra/
So, in today’s article, I am going to share another Okra recipe from Eastern India, but this time from Bengal. It is called ‘Dhainrosher Jhaal,’ which means Okra in mustard gravy. In Bengal, everything that is made of mustard gravy is called ‘jhaal’, for e.g., ‘Maachher jhaal’, which means fish in mustard gravy. Actually the word ‘Jhaal’in Bangla means ‘hot,’ something as hot as fumes coming out of your ears, but I still don’t understand why is mustard gravy called jhaal because it is not that hot. Yes, I do agree it has a typical pungent flavour. Though these mustard seeds are good for our respiratory system but an overdose of it can upset our stomach.
Here in the UK, we usually don’t find Okra easily except for very few Indian grocery shops. So every weekend I make a visit to the Indian groceries for the Okras and few of my other favourite Indian vegetables like bitter gourd, bottle gourd, etc., which we don’t get elsewhere in this country.
In Bengal, traditionally the ‘Dhaironsher Jhaal’ recipe is made by deep frying the Okras in mustard oil and then a gravy is prepared using the black mustard seeds paste. This black mustard seeds would have been soaked in water for few minutes and then ground into a thick paste.
But in my recipe that I am going to share now, I have given it a healthier twist by skipping the deep frying process altogether. I have baked the Okras instead of deep frying. I wanted this dish to be little dry and crispy rather than the usual semi-liquid gravy type. This way we can enjoy the flavour of mustard as well as have a low consumption of the mustard paste as well. Thus, I have renamed it as ‘Baked Mustard Okra’.
So, let’s get started.
250 gm tender Okra
1 tbsp mustard oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
For the Mustard Paste
2 tbsp black mustard seeds
4 tbsp water
- Soak the mustard seeds in water for about 15 minutes and then grind it in a blender to make a smooth paste.
- Preheat the oven at 190 degrees C.
- Wash the Okra pods well and pat them dry with a cloth or paper towel.
- Remove the head and tail of the okra pods and discard them.
- Chop the Okras as per your desired length for eg 3-4 inches size.
- Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sugar (optional), carom seeds, mustard paste and mustard oil on the chopped Okra, mix them well and place them on a baking tray as shown.
- Now place the baking tray in the centre of the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Leave to stand for 1 minute after baking.
The Baked Mustard Okra is ready. This can be served as snacks and also as part of the main course meal.
Hope you enjoy this dish with your loved ones!
Photos by the author.
#Okra #MustardOkra #Healthfood #TastyHealthFood #CookingOkra #LifeAndFood #DifferentTruths
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