Pillowy soft okra, crisp onions, sweet tomatoes and melt-in-your-mouth potatoes. This, my friends, is bhindi do pyaza.
Bhindi do pyaza translates to okra with double the onions. When you see the words “do pyaza” in the title of a dish, you should expect there to be plenty of onions in the recipe.
My recipe calls for using onions in two different ways. We’re using my pre-made onion masala sauce which is made up of caramelized onions and tomatoes and we’re also adding large cubes of stir-fried onion that we’ll sauté, remove and then add back to the finished dish, ensuring a bit of crunch in what would otherwise be a texturally soft dish.
WHAT DOES OKRA TASTE LIKE?
I love okra – always have. It was the one vegetable that I liked even as a kid. But it’s surprisingly difficult to describe what okra tastes like. Here’s my (sad) attempt at describing okra:
Okra is a mild-tasting green veggie (technically fruit) and it tastes kinda like zucchini or green beans or asparagus and sort of has the texture of cooked eggplant but with seeds that are more pronounced and yet still soft… so basically, my description of okra isn’t helpful at all and you should just try it.
I suppose we should also discuss okra‘s texture…
BUT ASHLEY, ISN’T OKRA SLIMY?
My husband, a former okra-hater, is pretty matter-of-fact when it comes to answering questions like this (unlike me, clearly lol) and so I’m going to tell you what he has to say about okra: “All okra is slimy. You have to get over it. Unless it’s fried and even then it might still be slimy.”
That said, can I please take a minute to defend okra slime? Honestly, I think that adjective is the problem. We just need a new word for slime.
I’ve been asking my 3-year-old, Tony, to describe the food I make and I love his adjectives because even though they’re not always flattering, I find them adorable. He loves to say “this tastes goopy, mommy” (usually referring to sabzis… I mean, he’s not wrong). So yes, let’s go with the word goopy – I like it much more than the word slimy.
Did you know that okra goop is actually a type of digestible fiber? It also helps keep the pod from drying out. Now that you know what it’s for, maybe eating it won’t be as unappealing?
Give my recipe for okra do pyaza a try – the acidity from the tomatoes helps mask the goop as does the crunch from the onions and the creaminess from the potatoes. If you like okra, you’ll love this. If you don’t like okra, there’s still a good chance you’ll enjoy this dish.
Serve this dish with plain basmati rice, jeera rice or roti. You can also serve it alongside one of my many dal recipes.
- 1 pound okra cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 onion cut into 2-inch cubes
- ½ pound potatoes sliced lengthwise into ¼ inch slices
- 1-2 green chilies slit into strips
- ½ cup fresh/thawed onion masala
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 roma tomatoes cut into large pieces
- Cilantro to garnish
- Rinse the okra and pat dry. Set aside for now.
- Press the sauté button, add oil and allow it to heat up for a minute. Once the oil is hot, add cumin seeds to the pot and once they turn brown, add the onions and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until they soften a bit.
- Remove the onions from the pot and place on a plate, set aside.
- Put the okra into the pot and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add potatoes and green chili and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Add the spices, stir, then add onion masala and water and mix well. Place the tomatoes on top.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook at high pressure for 1 minute.
- Naturally release pressure for 5 minutes, then open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Add the cubed onions back to the pot, stir, then garnish with cilantro and serve.
- it's important to slice the potatoes into ¼ inch slices so they cook properly.