Bendekai Palya/ Sauteed Okra

I am sure many a souls would have gone through punishing routines to loose some weight, eat fat-free etc. I am one of them. In my quest for fat-free cooking, I even used the cooking spay for Tadka. Weird right? But there are many of us. I am convinced. Did what all can be done, fat-free milk, fat-free yogurt, low-fat eggs, lot of lettuce, celery. In fact one can of edible oil had lasted for months , not to mention butter lasting for almost six months. But still there has not been a significant change in our weights though my hairline seems to be thinning down. But now I regret having done all that. It was absolutely not required at all.
Simple: Are my grandparents overweight? No.
Are my folks overweight? No.
Does obesity run in my family? No
What do they eat on a normal day? Ragi Mudde/ Chapati/ Rice/ Yogurt/ Palya/Curry.
What do I eat? Low fat waffles/sugar laden cereals/ Rice/pickles/Palya/ Yogurt/Curry/ and many nibbles- sugar free candies, low fat chocolates and many things rubbish
What could possibly be the culprits? everything except Rice/Palya/Yogurt/Curry.
What should I be eating more? Ragi and Wheat.

So I had to push myself into the world of sensible eating rather than resorting to low-fat version of everything which gave me a false sense of comfort, but gave me much less nutrition along with leaving some part of my brain craving for the full-fat versions! Today I feel I cheated myself. Diet cheats do not work. What works is rather simple- quantity and quality.
Now we have tweaked our diets a bit. No more fat-free stuff. We are getting 1% organic milk (somehow it tastes better), organic 1% yogurt, organic Eggs, and a lot of fruits. For every meal we are having a huge serving of Palya-vegetables and of course all tadka/oggarane in Ghee not much but about 1 teaspoon. The food tastes so much good, I feel very satisfied, my brain has nothing to crave for and I know I am doing a world of good to myself. I can already see the difference. I nibble much less. I dont feel hungry often and when ever I eat, I eat slowly enjoying every morsel.
Under this programme we are having at least two different vegetable palyas every day and we try to sort of mix and match the yellow-red vegetables and green leafy vegetables. Experts are of the opinion that eating a wide variety of colours is beneficial. So this mix and match affair. In my quest for more Palyas, I have tried to create very simple combinations that not only tastes good but are easy enough to be whipped up on a week night. Starting with Okras/ Bendekai

Bendekai Palya

You will need

Okra /Bendekai 1lb
Oil 2 tsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Hing a dash
Curry leaves 8-10
Dried Red Chillies 3-4
Amchoor 1 tsp and above
Salt to taste

  1. Wash Okras wipe them dry. Make sure to get rid of all the moisture otherwise okras tend to turn slimy. I generally wash them and spread them out on a kitchen towel for at least 2-3 hours.
  2. Discard the tops and tails, dice them into 1/2" roundels
  3. Heat a pan. Throw the okra roundels.Toast the okras till the edges are charred and all the slime is gone. Set it aside to cool
  4. Now in another pan/wok, heat oil. Throw in the mustard, hing, turmeric curry leaves and red chillies. Saute for about a minute. Quickly add the okras. Toss well.
  5. Adjust Amchoor and salt. Cover and cook for a few minutes and it is ready to go to the table!
Now is it not simple?


Deepthi Shankar said...

I love bendekai playa .. all time fave .. I am also a lil diet conscious, but I do indulge in my fave foods .. the key is to eat right & exercise .. you will see the result soon ..

Kannada Cuisine said...

He he! Hopefully Deesha!!!

Vani said...

Oh yeah, the torture for foodies to go on a diet! Been there! I finally made some minor changes in my lifestyle - included some cardio and yoga, eating more fruits nd veggies, cutting down on white carbs - like white bread, white rice, anything with maida is taboo. The tough part for me is portion control.
Good luck with your diet, Smitha! Benekayi palya is one of my favorites! With anna, saaru and a bit of thuppa, just yum!

Lakshmi said...

I totally agree with Vani! With bele saru, B.palya is a treat :D

Savi-Ruchi said...

I love bendekayi hashi the most. I also agree that, dieting for foodie like us is half dead :) I keep planning to diet since ages, I dont know, when I can really start!!
Paplya looks yum Smitha

Ashwini said...

Ya Smitha, so true..We tend to eat more junk and leave all the usual healthy food that we make..Love bedekai Palya with rice and thili bele saru..

Kannada Cuisine said...

@ Vani,
Yes Vani, me in the transition phase I guess.. not to mention portion control!

me too love it with belesaru/tili saaru


@ Ashwini, me too love it with Bele/tili saaru

Unknown said...

Subzi looks nice. Happy dieting.

Kannada Cuisine said...

Thanks Lakshmi Venkatesh

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites!

What a simple and exquisite recipe!
With M in Mumbai, even I should be able to try this. Thank you for sharing!