Upkaris are the integral part of Konkani cuisine. We make upkaris with almost all the vegetables and they are a must in any Konkani meal. The vegetables are very lightly spiced to bring out the unique flavor of it. Bhende upkari is one such dish loved by all. Okra(bhende) is cooked in very minimum spices and then garnished with fresh coconut.
When I was a kid, my granddad used to grow a lot of vegetables in out garden. Okra was one such vegetable that was grown. The taste of freshly plucked and cooked okra used to be divine. I feel there is a huge taste difference between the okra that I grew up eating and the one we get in Indian store here in USA. But still it is one the vegetables we love the most.
Okra Sidedish (Bhende Upkari)
- 1 lb 1/2 kg apprx okra(bhende) cut into long pieces
- 1 tea spn mustard seeds
- A pinch asafoetida
- A pinch turmeric
- 3-4 green chillies
- 4-5 curry leaves optional
- 1 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
- Cut okra into long pieces.
- Apply some salt and turmeric to it and set aside. (This step reduces the sliminess of okra when cooked).
- Heat oil and add mustard seeds.
- When they start popping, add asafoetida, curry leaves(optional), green chillies slit into halves.
- Add the okra and mix well.
- Fry for 2-3 mins and then close the lid and let it cook on medium heat.
- When it is cooked, sprinkle the fresh coconut on top and take off the heat.
- Serve hot as a side with rice or chapatis.