I’d jotted down this recipe from a TV show by culinary expert and  cookbook author Uma Amrute Madam. An excellent tip that she shared was adding dessicated coconut to get the resto flavour and yes it gave a fabulous flavour to the gravy. Basic recipe belongs to Uma Amrute Madam, I tweaked it a bit to suit my palate. I shall be mentioning the original recipe as well as the tweaks I made.

BASIC RECIPE CREDIT : Uma Amrute Madam

RECIPE :

Ingredients

  • 200 gms small tender bhindi/ bhendi/ ladysfinger
  • 5 onions sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 small tomato chopped very fine
  • 2 1/2 tbsp oil to shallow fry the bhindi
  • 2 tbsp oil to saute the onions
  • 1 tbsp oil to be used while preparing the gravy
  • 8 pods of garlic
  • 1/2″ piece of ginger
  • 2 green chillies chopped fine
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (adjust to spice required)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 1/4th tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

METHOD :

  • Rinse the bhindi well and pat dry on a cotton cloth. There should be no moisture left. Cut off the edges, if the bhindi are long cut into 1 1/2″ pieces horizontally. Heat oil in a nonstick / ceramic pan, add a pinch of salt and shallow fry the bhindi till done, transfer to a plate and keep aside.As the bhindi are tender they can be shallow fried. 
  • In the same pan, heat oil, add onions and saute till golden brown. Once cool grind the browned onions to a smooth paste. Grind ginger garlic paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick / ceramic pan add ginger garlic paste. Saute till it loses its raw flavour, add the onion paste, mix well, add chopped tomatoes, saute well till it softens. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and dessicated coconut. Saute well, add water(approximately 1 cup or as required) to get an even consistency. Let it simmer. Add garam masala and salt and let it simmer. Finally add the shallow fried bhindi, and give it a stir till the gravy coats the bhindi and bring the gravy to a boil. 
  • Once done, switch off the flame and garnish with curry leaves, finely chopped green chilli and coriander leaves.
  • Serve as a side dish hot with rotis/ polis, dal rice.

TIP :

  • Use very tender, small bhindi as they can be shallow fried. If not deep fry the bhindi.
  • To get the resto flavour you have to add DESSICATED COCONUT only. Cook the gravy well so that the raw flavour of dessicated coconut is diminished.

NOTE :

  • The original recipe mentions adding raw onion paste and then browning them in oil. I prefer browning the onions first and then making a paste just to be on the safer side that the rawness of onions is diminished.
  • I have added 1 tbsp dessicated coconut while in the actual recipe it is 3 tbsp.
  • The bhindi have been deep fried in the actual recipe while I have shallow fried the bhindi as they were very tender and it was easier to shallow fry them.I also admit that deep frying gives added flavour to the gravy as the oil in deep fried bhindi also sinks into the gravy giving it a resto flavour.