Gujarati-Style Okra & Potatoes (Bhinda Bateta nu Shaak) is an everyday comfort food in many Gujarati homes, including mine. It’s usually scooped up with soft, hot rotlis (chapattis), which is our daily bread. This curry is delicately flavoured with cumin seeds, turmeric, garlic and lemon juice for a fresh vegan dish that eats more like a stir fry than the heavy restaurant curries one might be used to.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: curry, gujarati, okra, potatoes, vegan
300gokrafresh or frozen
2large potatoeswashed and sliced thinly (about 2cm wide and a couple of mm thick)
2tbspany flavourless oil
1tspwhole black mustard seeds
2tspwhole cumin seeds
4large cloves garliccrushed
1large tomatofinely chopped
1tspchilli powderor to taste
1tspground coriander seeds
1 1/2tspsaltor to taste
2fresh red chillieschopped (optional)
2tbspthin sev (fried chickpea flour noodles)(optional), shop-bought is fine
If using fresh okra, wash the whole okra and pat them dry using a clean tea towel. Slice the dry okra into rings, discarding the stems.
If using frozen okra, ensure they are frost free. If they are a bit frosty, lay them out in a clean tea towel and pat dry. Slice into rings if whole.
Slice the potatoes thinly (about 2cm wide and a couple of mm in thickness). They shouldn’t be wafer thin.
Chop the tomatoes into small cubes.
Heat the oil in a large, non-stick or cast iron pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle. Once they’ve stopped crackling, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook until the water from the tomatoes evaporates and they have broken down completely.
Next, add the potatoes, chilli powder, turmeric, ground coriander seeds, salt and water. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove the lid and continue to cook until all the water has evaporated. Stir fry the potatoes until the edges become slightly brown and crispy.
Add the sliced okra and stir fry over a high heat for 5 minutes. Stir often. Add the lemon juice and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes until the lemon juice has evaporated and the okra shrinks slightly and becomes darker in colour. I like them a little crunchy. To test, simply cook one okra ring and taste to check if it’s cooked to your liking. If you prefer them to be softer, continue to cook without adding any water for 3-4 minutes longer.
Garnish with fresh chillies, thin sev and coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapattis.
To store, allow to cool completely to room temperature, cover and refrigerate or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Reheat in the pan or microwave until piping hot.