Tangy mutton and ladies finger curry (Bhindi aur gosht ka khatta saalan)

Bhendi Ghost or Bhendi aur Ghost ka khatta saalan is a tamarind based curry with onion and tomato as a base. Bhendi aur Ghost ka khatta salan, the mutton/lamb and the okra combination is very popular in Hyderabad (India) and other parts of Indian region and off course in Pakistan too. For Bhendi ghost I have used onion tomato and coconut as a base apart from tamarind which has a tangy taste, the combination of meat and okra gives this curry extra flavour, texture and taste. As I have used coconut in this curry, gravy will be more. We usually don’t add much meat to such type of curries, when we add vegetables, as it is not just a meaty dish. As per your taste you can adjust with meat and vegetables.

In our curries, if it is meat dishes, mutton/lamb, we add vegetables of our choice as per the curry base. Once meat curry is prepared, you can add any vegetables you like. We call our curries with different names at home, for example we call Bhendi aur gosht ka mittah saalan (Okra / Ladies finger and Mutton curry without tamarind) or Bhendi aur gosht ka khatta saalan (Okra and Mutton curry with tamarind). So with tamarind, khatta saalan and without tamarind, mittah saalan our basic curry names. I always prefer tamarind based curries, because I love the taste of tanginess.

Most of my meat curries are cooked in a cooker as it gets cooked fast and the meat is tender. Okra has a slimy texture, to reduce; I have fried the okra separately instead of adding it directly, so that the curry should not have more slimy texture. Bhendi ghost goes well with plain hot rice and roti (chapathi).

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 45 mins

Cuisine: Andhra (home style)

Spiciness: Spicy and sour

Serves: 3 or more

Ingredients

  • Oil – 1/3 cup
  • Lamb (with bones) - 500 gms
  • Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder – 3 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Tomato (chopped) – 1 (medium) or 100 gms
  • Tamarind – small lemon size
  • Green chillies – 4
  • Coriander leaves (chopped) – handful or 1/2 cup
  • Whole spices

  • Cloves -5
  • Cinnamon stick (3 inch pieces) – 2
  • Green cardamom - 5
  • Paste

  • Onion – 2 (medium) or 200 gms
  • Tomato – 1 (big) or 150 gms
  • Fresh coconut (grated) – 1/2 cup
  • Frying okra

  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Okra – 300 gms

Method

    Preparation

  • Chop the tomato and coriander leaves. Slit the green chillies. Keep them ready.
  • I have used frozen grated coconut and frozen cut okra. You can use whichever is easily available. If you are using fresh okra, cut to about 2 inch pieces.
  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water and squeeze to get all its juices out. Strain and keep the tamarind water ready.
  • Paste

  • Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste in a mixer or blender. You can add a little water and grind. Transfer the paste to a bowl and keep aside. Add 1/2 a cup of water to the mixer to clean or remove the paste attached to the mixer and use this water for the curry.
  • Curry

  • Heat the pressure cooker with oil and when hot add whole spices. Stir for about 10 seconds and then add lamb. Saute for about 3 to 4 mins.
  • Add all the dry powders and ginger and garlic paste. Stir quickly for about 2 to 3 mins until all the spices are roasted well in the oil.
  • Add chopped tomato and saute for about 2 mins.
  • Add the coconut paste, 1/2 cup of water, which was used to clean the mixer and about 2 cups of water to cook the lamb. Be careful while adding the paste, it can splutter on you.
  • Mix well. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook until it is well cooked. After about 4 to 5 whistles in the cooker, switch off the heat. Let it rest for a while (until pressure in the cooker is fully released).
  • Meanwhile, heat a pan or kadai and add oil. When hot, add cumin seeds and stir for about 10 seconds. Add cut okra and fry until it is browned on a high flame. No need to cook okra completely. We just need the colour and to reduce the slimy texture of okra.
  • After opening the cooker lid, add the fried okra.
  • Add 1 cup of tamarind water, 1/2 a cup of water, green chillies, coriander leaves and salt. Close the lid of the pressure cooker again and cook for 1 or 2 whistles. Switch off and let it rest for a few mins.
  • Or

  • After adding okra, cook again on a medium heat until the rawness of tamarind disappears and the curry is cooked well. It will take about 10 to 12 mins on a medium heat.
  • When a gravy consistency is formed, simmer for a further 10 mins with the lid closed. Switch it off and let it rest for a while and then open it.
  • When it is cooked, you can see that the oil gets separated from the gravy/curry and both the okra and lamb are cooked well.
  • Serve with plain rice or roti (chapathi) and enjoy.

Notes

  • For easy way, preheat the pressure cooker and add oil. When it gets warm add all the ingredients together one by one including meat (except tamarind, okra, green chillies, coriander leaves) and cook the meat.
  • Those who do not have cooker can cook in any normal vessel. First cook lamb, then add vegetables and cook it (like turi ka saalan).
  • You can add water if gravy is very thick.
  • You can prepare bhendi gosht with the same ingredients I have used in arvi ka khatta saalan. The dry coconut, which goes into it makes the curry taste different.
  • With the same paste and spices, you can add Arvi, turnip, radish (mooli) or potatoes and make this curry.
  • You can avoid green chillies if you want to. You can put coriander leaves at the end of this dish.
  • Add curry leaves to the oil, it gives additional flavour and enhances the taste.
  • You can add 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of thick concentrated tamarind paste, instead of soaking the dry tamarind in water and using it. Add tamarind according to the sourness you want to taste in the curry.

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