Saturday, 6 February 2016

Shorshe Dharosh Recipe | Sarson Wali Bhindi Recipe | Okra in Mustard Gravy Recipe


Shorshe Dharosh or Okra in Mustard Gravy has been my most desired way of cooking and eating okra. I have an immense liking for the Mustard Gravy which is infused with the pungent and strong smelling mustard paste cooked in mustard oil flavoured with nigella seeds, Bengal's indispensable whole spice Kalo Jeera. Another jewel of a dish from my paternal grandmother's treasure trunk of recipes. With this dish I continue my series on Bengali Vegetarian dishes.

The way mustard paste is used in Bengali cooking is very interesting. Many a dishes are cooked in this strong smelling and sharp tasting mustard paste which is surely not for the faint hearted. As true as it is that the first bite into something cooked with mustard paste may not leave your taste buds as delighted as you would have liked it to be, but once you develop a taste for food cooked both in mustard oil and using mustard paste, one thing you can be assured of, that the you moment start liking gravies cooked in mustard paste you will be addicted to it, just like me.


Bengali cuisine uses mustard oil as the cooking medium widely. During the time I was growing up I remember the tins of mustard oil which would be stored in a line in the store room adjoining our kitchen. A hole had to be punctured into these tins and the content would be transferred into a number of all sized and shaped ceramic jars. The moment Grandma would remove the lid to take out spoonfuls  of mustard oil for cooking, my tear ducts would be overwhelmed by the strong inherent property of pure mustard oil and overflow spontaneously. That's why when cooking with mustard oil I was taught to mellow it down by first bringing the oil to smoking point, cooling it for a couple of seconds before introducing the first ingredient to the mustard oil.

Grandma had made the Shorshe Dharosh more subtle and acceptable to all kinds of palate by adding poppy seeds and coconut to it. The result was a dish where okra was given a unique flavour makeover by this all encompassing mustard sauce. If you are not a huge fan of mustard paste and would like to have only a hint of mustard in your bites, then exchange the quantity of mustard seeds with the quantity of poppy seeds used in the recipe. This will make the recipe moderate with a dash of mustard taste and aroma. I however as already mentioned am a mustard lover and both its aroma and taste takes my senses to a ride of joy and excitement. So I tend to up the quantity of mustard paste every single time.

In a Bengali meal curries are served after teto (bitter dish ), Shaag (leafy greens) and bhaja (fries) along with dal (lentil curry).

I have prepared the dish just the way it has been prepared in my home for more than  a decade.

Shorshe Dharosh Recipe | Sarson Wali Bhindi Recipe | Okra in Mustard Gravy Recipe ~


SERVES : 4
CUISINE : INDIAN /BENGALI
TYPE : CURRY / MAIN COURSE
TIME : 15 MINUTES PREPARATION + 30 MINUTES COOKING + 30 MINUTES SOAKING TIME OF MUSTARD SEEDS AND POPPY SEEDS.

INGREDIENTS :

1) 250 Gms Okra / Ladies Finger / Dharosh / Bhindi
2) 2 Tbsp Black Mustard Seeds / Sarson
3) 1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
4) 1 Tbsp Grated Coconut ( I have used fresh coconut pieces )
5) 2 ~ 3 Green chillies
6) 1 Tsp Turmeric powder ( 1/2 tsp for mustard sauce + 1/2 Tsp for okra fry )
7) 1 Tsp Chilli Powder
8) 1 Tsp dry roasted and ground cumin seeds powder
9) 1/2 Tbsp Mustard Oil
10) Salt to taste

FOR TEMPERING :

1) 1 Tsp Kalo Jeera, Kalonji, Nigella Seeds
2) 2 Tbsp Mustard Oil

THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE Shorshe Dharosh | Sarson Wali Bhindi | Okra in Mustard Gravy ~


1) Take Mustard Seeds and Poppy Seeds in the ratio mentioned in ingredients above. If you do not want the extra pungent and strong flavoured mustard dominant gravy, then reverse the ratio.
Soak them in warm water for 30 minutes.
  • Drain the water using a strainer. Grind the mustard, poppy seeds along with coconut and green chillies and a big pinch of salt.
  • TIP : The salt is added to the ingredients during grinding , I was told to nullify the bitterness of mustard seeds.
  • Grind the ingredients into a silky smooth paste. Use one or two tsp water if required to get the smooth consistency.

2) Wash the okra without cutting thoroughly in water.
TIP : Never cut and wash the okra as the slime from the okra will render things out of control.
  • Dry the okra completely using a kitchen towel, ensuring that not a single drop of water is left behind.
  • Cut the okra now into halves horizontally each after chopping off the top cap and the bottom end. You can even make this dish with whole okras, only take care they should be smaller and equal sized. 
  • Add 1/2 Tsp salt, 1/2 Tsp of Turmeric powder and chilli powder and coat each okra with it.
  • Fry the okra using 1/2 Tbsp Oil in a pan till 80% done. I never cover and cook okra to avoid the slime. Remove the pan from the burner.
3) While the okra is frying in another pan you can simultaneously add 2 Tbsp mustard oil and when smoking, reduce the heat, wait for a few seconds then add the nigella seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add the mustard, poppy seeds, coconut paste and stir fry the paste for two minutes. Reduce the flame as the paste tends to splutter out and may hit your hand.
  • Add 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder and mix well.
  • Add 1/2 cup water now and stir. Cover and cook till the water evaporates and you can see specks of oil over the paste.
4) Your mustard base is now ready. So you can now add the almost cooked okra to it.

  • Mix the okra with mustard gravy or sauce in the pan. Handle the okra gently and not break it apart. Add 1/2 Cup water. Leave the okra along with the mustard gravy cooking on a medium flame for two minutes or till the okra is fully cooked. 
  • Sprinkle the cumin powder now and mix.  
  • Simmer for a minute. Remove the pan from the burner and transfer the contents into a bowl.
  • TIP : If you feel the gravy has thickened too much and is drying up, you can add a little more water now. But this gravy is a thick gravy, so do not add too much water.

Serve the delicious Okra in mustard sauce with piping hot rice.


PICTORIAL STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE ON HOW TO COOK Shorshe Dharosh | Sarson Wali Bhindi | Okra in Mustard Gravy ~


1) Take Mustard Seeds and Poppy Seeds in the ratio mentioned in ingredients above. If you do not want the extra pungent and strong flavoured mustard dominant gravy, then reverse the ratio.
Soak them in warm water for 30 minutes.



Drain the water using a strainer. Grind the mustard, poppy seeds along with coconut and green chillies and a big pinch of salt.
TIP : The salt is added to the ingredients during grinding , I was told to nullify the bitterness of mustard seeds.


Grind the ingredients into a silky smooth paste. Use one or two tsp water if required to get the smooth consistency.


2) Wash the okra without cutting thoroughly in water.
TIP : Never cut and wash the okra as the slime from the okra will render things out of control.


Dry the okra completely using a kitchen towel, ensuring that not a single drop of water is left behind.


Cut the okra now into halves horizontally each after chopping off the top cap and the bottom end. You can even make this dish with whole okras, only take care they should be smaller and equal sized.


Add 1/2 Tsp salt, 1/2 Tsp of Turmeric powder and chilli powder and coat each okra with it.


Fry the okra using 1/2 Tbsp Oil in a pan till 80% done. I never cover and cook okra to avoid the slime. Remove the pan from the burner.


3) While the okra is frying in another pan you can simultaneously add 2 Tbsp mustard oil and when smoking, reduce the heat, wait for a few seconds then add the nigella seeds and let them splutter.


Add the mustard, poppy seeds, coconut paste and stir fry the paste for two minutes. Reduce the flame as the paste tends to splutter out and may hit your hand.


Add 1/2 Tsp Turmeric powder and mix well.


Add 1/2 cup water now and stir. Cover and cook till the water evaporates and you can see specks of oil over the paste.


4) Your mustard base is now ready. So you can now add the almost cooked okra to it.


Mix the okra with mustard gravy or sauce in the pan. Handle the okra gently and not break it apart. Add 1/2 Cup water. Leave the okra along with the mustard gravy cooking on a medium flame for two minutes or till the okra is fully cooked. 


Sprinkle the cumin powder now and mix.


Simmer for a minute. Remove the pan from the burner and transfer the contents into a bowl.
TIP : If you feel the gravy has thickened too much and is drying up, you can add a little more water now. But this gravy is a thick gravy, so do not add too much water.


Serve the delicious Okra in mustard sauce with piping hot rice.


I am so fond of this dish that I polish off a whole plate of rice with this in no time and the similar effect it has on my not so Bengali family.


Try this Shorshe Dharosh and you will love it, even if you are not an okra lover, I guarantee that with this gravy you will fall in love with okra too.