Bhaji’s are usually made with minimal spice. However, this dish in particular is spiced up, just because it works well and brings out the flavours in the vegetables that I’ve used.
A dozen Okra
1 large Potato
A pinch of cumin seeds (optional)
Vegetable oil or other oil of your choice.
A handful of fresh coriander leaves (also known as cilantro in the US).
Spices: 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp salt
1. Prepare all the vegetables: Leave the okra as it is but cut off the tops and ends. Cut the eggplant in long slices rather like british chips. Do the same with the potato. Soak for a few minutes and then drain off. Keep the potatoes separate to the other vegetables.
2. In 1 tablespoon of oil, add the cumin seeds and fry till they turn almost brown. Don’t fry them too long otherwise they will burn and make the dish bitter. (If you want to skip this bit, go straight to number 3).
3. Add the sliced onion and fry till they turn brown.
4. Add all spices and salt and make a smooth paste. Add a little water bit by bit so that you get the right consistency. This is key to any masala/curry.
5. Add chopped tomatoes and more water so that the tomatoes blend into the mixture well.
6. Add the potaotes and cook until almost done. Then add the okra and eggplant as these take very little time to cook. Cook for 3-4 minutes whilst stirring. Next, put the lid on and cook on low for 10 minutes until done.
Recommendations: Serve with rice or naan bread, chappatti or pita bread. Also goes really well with Daal (Lentil Curry).
Recipe by Sabina Huq