Sunday, March 24, 2019

Bhindi Posto - Okra / Lady Finger cooked in poppy seeds paste


Summer in Bangalore is in full swing and my favorite sabjis, Brinjal and Cauliflower are vanishing from the market. In fact, they do appear, but they are not so fresh now. My readers already know that I am mad about the healthy food. So, I am now left with fewer options – lauki and Bhindi/ Okra/ Ladies finger. There are few recipes already present in my blog about lauki. So, I chose bhindi this time. Bengalis love posto urf poppy seeds and add different vegetables with posto to make some yummiest dishes. This preparation is a traditional Bengali Vegan recipe with Bhindi and poppy seeds.

But before coming to the preparation let me give you some idea about the benefits of Ladies finger. Lady finger (Okra) has been a part of Indian cuisine for ages. Its rich fiber content is what mainly contributes to its benefits. Doctors always suggest this vegetable for its effect in losing weight, heart disease and controlling blood sugar levels. It also improves digestion and constipation.

Here is the recipe of the Bhindi Posto: -

Preparation Time: - 10~15 min

Cooking Time: - 15~20 min

Servings: - 2 persons


1.      100 gm. Bhindi/Okra/Lady finger (I prefer smaller ones as they tend to be more tatsy)
2.      2~3 tbsp poppy seeds
3.      2 Green Chilies silted lengthwise
4.      3~4 tbsp Mustard oil (since this is a traditional Bengali dish mustard oil is preferable, but you can use any vegetable oil)
5.      1 tsp Kalonji (Black Jeera)
6.      ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
7.      1 medium size onion (thinly sliced) (optional)
8.      Salt to taste
9.      ½ tsp sugar
10.   Pinch of Hing i.e. asafetida (optional)

Preparation: -

  1. Chop the onion in thin slices and keep aside. You may discard this if you do not want onions and make this a pure vegetarian dish.
  2. Soak poppy seeds in water for min. 15 minutes. Use blender to make a smooth paste. If you are a spice lover, you can add a silted green chilly in the paste. Keep aside.
  3. Wash the ladies finger thoroughly and wipe them with dry cloth. Chop into medium pieces. We can remove the seeds from bhindi by cutting the tips of it and then slitting vertically. This helps to reduce the uric acid content from the dish. It may be helpful for older people.
  4. Heat mustard oil in a frying pan. When the oil starts smoking reduce the burner to medium.
  5. Add kalonji / black jeera seeds and one green chilly slit lengthwise.
  6. When it crackles pour chopped onion (optional) and fry till they turn translucent.
  7. Now add bhindi pieces and sauté for 1 minute.
  8. Then you add the spices – salt, asafetida and turmeric powder. Cook them for 6 to 8 minutes or till the okra turn tender.
  9. Then add poppy seed paste and mix them well. Continue cooking in medium heat. The oil gets separated from the mixture.
  10. Now add ½ tsp sugar and mix again. Sprinkle a little water if required.
  11. Turn off the heat and your tasty dish is ready to be served.
Serve with steamed white rice or any flavored rice. This should be well matched with Roti as well.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Happy Holi / Shubha Basanta Utsav to My readers


Celebrating the colours of our beautiful relationship I wish you and your family all the bright hues of life. Have a wonderful Holi

Monday, March 11, 2019

Rangalur Pantua Or Red & Sweet Potato Gulab Jamun

Mishti aloo’r pantua or Lal alur pantua or sweet potato jamuns are traditional Bengali sweet and it is a festival sweet too. My mother used to make it during Shivaratri. This one is a little tricky but with proper direction and understanding you can master this heavenly dessert. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, full of antioxidants, daily source of vitamin A, helps to achieve low GI, controls blood sugar level. Hence sweets made up from this is surely healthy and yummy of course.

Preparation Time: - 30 min

Cooking Time: - 30 min

Servings: - 4~5 persons


For Dumplings

1.      3 nos. Red Potato (medium size)
2.      2 tbsp Rice Flour
3.      3 tbsp All purpose flour
4.      3 tbsp grated Khowa or Milk Powder
5.      2 tsp Boiled Milk (optional)
6.      Pinch of baking soda (optional)
7.      Pinch of salt
8.      1 tsp Cardamom powder

For Syrup

9.      2 ½ cup sugar
10.   3 cup Water
11.   3 crushed green cardamom powder
12.   Few Saffron threads

For frying

13.   Sufficient Ghee or oil for deep frying. I use a 50:50 mixture of Ghee and sunflower oil but any vegetable oil can be used if you do not want to use Ghee for health purpose.

Preparation: -

  1. Boil 3 Red potatoes and mash them. You can use blender to make it without any lumps left. Keep aside.
  2. Boil the milk if you want to use milk in making dumplings. I do use it for adjusting the smoothness of the dough.
  3. Crush 3 pods of green cardamom with pestle and mortar. Remove the husk. Keep aside.
  4. To make the syrup, take a big vessel/pan. Add sugar, water & green cardamom and heat it with high flame to start boiling. Sprinkle saffron threads in it. Turn the heat to medium and continue boiling till the syrup looks sticky enough. You can use jaggery if you have any health issue with sugar.
  5. Take the mashed sweet potato in a bowl and add rice flour, maida (all purpose flour), khowa/milk powder, pinch of baking soda, pinch of salt and cardamom powder. Mix well to make a soft dough. Baking soda may be harmful for children and you can avoid it. It makes the jamun fluffy.  If the dough is hard and dry, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of boiled milk and make it soft. If the dough is runny, add some flour to keep the binding tight.
  6. Now make approx. 15 balls from the dough and keep aside.
  7. (optional and I did not do it) Make a small hole using your finger in each ball, put some chopped nuts, saffron, sugar crystal & a seed of black cardamom. Close the hole nicely. Some people like it this stuffing.
  8.  Cover with damp cloth and keep aside the dumplings for frying later.
  9. Take a deep-frying pan & heat Ghee or Oil or Both ghee and oil. Once heated sufficiently lower the flame and deep fry the balls till they become golden brown. Pick up the fried dumplings and drop inside the sugar syrup immediately.
Serve hot / cold as you want. Both ways it tastes great. It is good as a dessert after meal or as a standalone sweet.

As always please feel free to comment, criticize and seek if any help is required. I am all ears.