I love Kripal Singh’s Food Lovers TV where he spotlights older, unique, out of the way establishments mostly in Bengaluru. One of these episodes featured The New Modern Hotel (not sure of the name) in Bengaluru, and their homestyle cooking and thaali. Now, if I must choose someone to eat on my behalf, if that ever happens, I would choose Kripal. The way he experiences the food and relates the experience, the way he enjoys it – he is the BEST! The food featured was South Canara cuisine, I think it’s coastal karnataka, satvik food, plenty of coconut, and jaggery, and just everything good! I fell in love with this episode, and the side dish of okra gojju that he used the pooris to dip in. Googled the recipe, and I came up with what I think is the dish featured. From my research, it’s very similar to the pagarkai gojju made with a unique masala paste made of sesame seeds and coconut, in addition to the dals and red chilies. I had to make it immediately. Like the same evening. But I waited to serve it with with the pooris, along with a hodge podge thaali I made up with various leftovers, as I was craving a Woodlands style thaali. Here is the recipe!
This is a simple dry side dish that comes together pretty quickly, and needs simple ingredients. This is inspired by the Bengali dish chorchori or churchuri which is made with a mix of vegetables such as pumpkin, eggplant, potatoes, and almost always spinach, but all I had was okra/bhindi, and I decided to make it with what I have. It turned out really good! The original Bengali dish uses the mix of whole spices called Paanch phoron/paanch puran which is readily available in Indian grocery stores (paanch meaning five in Hindi). The original recipe also uses the spices whole, but I modified it slightly by powdering them coarsely, and adding it at the end instead of in the initial tempering.