Dhyarosh er Sobji: Bengali style stir fried Okra
I made Dhyarosh er Sobji (Bengali stir fried okra) after a very long time.
We make a trip to the Indian store once every 4-5 weeks and load up on goodies! We pick up at least 7 or 8 kinds of Indian cookies that we call biscuits and Bourbon (the biscuit), Marie biscuit, Hide ‘n Seek, Nice and Milk Bikis are always on our list! And along with these we stock up on savory munchies too!
These trips are mostly made on Thursdays, and over the weekend we will manage to polish off at least half of the goodies with our evening cup of tea! Pure bliss it is!
Trips to the Indian Grocery Store
Each time we go to the Indian store, I pick up couple of handfuls of green chilies and curry leaves! Since I do not cook a lot of typical Bengali or Indian recipes on a day-to-day basis, I hardly ever buy vegetables from there, except the time when my parents were here. I prefer the convenience and ease of making stir-fries with the vegetables that are available at our local grocery stores.
But how could I not pick handfuls of these gorgeous okra/lady’s finger – I had never seen such fresh okras at the Indian store ever before. And apparently the family loves eating this relatively quick and easy to make Dhyarosh er Sobji: Bengali style stir fried Okra with Roti/Chapati (a revelation, really) so I picked up okra the next couple of times I went to the Indian store. No matter how much I picked up, there would be no leftovers.
My Ma used to add cubed potatoes to her Okra stir fry (Dhyarosh er Sobji) till my Baba got diagnosed with diabetes. Going forward, she used to use potatoes very sparingly! That was a huge deal, since most Bengalis consider potatoes to be a ‘vegetable’ and eat heaps of it. There is aloo (potatoes) in almost every recipe imaginable – even in our Biriyani.
My Ma makes another version too, using onions and tomatoes. But this one is my favorite.
A special mix of 5 spices that we Bengalis call ‘Paanch Phoron’ is used in this dish for tempering. Typically, Paanch Phoron will include Fenugreek Seeds (Methi), Nigella Seeds (Kalo Jeera), Fennel Seeds (Mouri), Cumin Seeds (Jeera) and Wild Celery Seeds (Radhuni) in equal parts. ‘Radhuni’ is rarely available outside West Bengal, so celery seeds or black mustard seeds are also used as the 5th spice.
To make the Dhyarosh er Sobji: Bengali style stir fried Okra you need to start by rinsing the okras first under running tap water. Drain all the water before you start chopping.
Dhyarosh er Sobji: Bengali style stir fried Okra: Ingredients
- 4 cups okra, washed well, drained and cut at a diagonal
- 2 tsp of mustard oil (any oil of your choice)
- 1 tsp paanch phoron
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 green chili, slit (use more if you prefer)
- Enough water to cover the okra
- Salt to taste
Heat mustard oil in a pan on medium-high heat, and temper with the five-spice mix or Paanch Phoron and the slit green chili.
Once the seeds start spluttering, throw in the okra pieces and fry till they turn into a darker green, tossing and turning often.
Sprinkle the salt and turmeric and toss to mix. Now add enough water to just cover the okra pieces. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook till the okra softens.
Serve with Roti or Rice.