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Recipe of Bhindi ‘Ambil Khatta’ from Western Odisha, by Food Blogger Priyanka Panda

Our guest contributor today is a 25-year-old food blogger Priyanka Panda from Sambalpur, Odisha. She runs a food blog on Instagram called ‘Treasure of Food’, to help spread her Odia culture through culinary experiences and recipes.

With us today, she shares her favourite comfort food called Ambil. She has grown up eating this delicious bhindi (okra) and curd-based recipe. This dish is particularly famous in Western Odisha. There are more than a hundred versions of ‘Ambil Khatta’! Today, we are going to cook Priyanka’s personal favourite version which is made with Bhindi or Bhendi (okra), ‘Bhendi Ambil Khatta’. “This dish does require a bit of attention to get the taste and consistency right but my grandma has helped me perfect it, so i’ll be sharing all the added tips as well.” ~ Priyanka.

Our fresh bhindi – the main ingredient


(serves 4, prep time – 10 minutes)

  • 8-10 pieces of Bhindis or okras
  • 2-3 tomatoes – diced
  • 1/2 a cup of curd
  • 2-3 tbsp of besan or chickpea flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 800-900 ml of water
  • Salt as per taste
Mustard paste:
  • 2 tsp of raw mustard
  • 3 garlic pods
  • 2 red dried chillies
  • make a paste out of these by adding 1/4th cup of water.
Tempering ingredients:
  • 1-2 tsp of mustard seeds
  • 3 red dried chillies
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp of oil

Directions to cook:
  • Cut the bhindis into two pieces.
  • Heat the oil in a kadhai and fry the bhindis for 3-5 minutes on low-medium flame and take them out.
  • Now, add the diced tomatoes and a little bit of salt then cover it for 3 minutes.
  • Next, open the lid and mash the tomatoes nicely. Then add 2 tsp of prepared mustard paste, turmeric, red chilli powder and stir the ingredients for 30-40 seconds. Right after, pour in water and let it simmer.
  • In the meantime, make a well-beaten paste of curd and besan. When ready, add the paste and the previously fried bhindi to the boiling water.
  • Cook it until the raw smell from the besan dissipates. Remember to check the salt! At this stage, you should also pay extra attention to the consistency of the dish. It shouldn’t be too watery or as thick as kadhi either. If you feel you have added extra water, make a paste of besan and water on the side and then add that into the ambil and cook it over.
  • The last step is to mix the temper (given above) into the dish. This delicious dish will also work well with some chopped coriander leaves as a garnish. Enjoy this dish with a hearty portion of rice and some papads.

Discover more from this passionate cook and explore Odia cuisine by following her on Instagram

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