Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Gasagasalu ~ Bendakaaya

Okra ~ Poppy Seed Curry:

When people think of Andhra kuralu (curries), they think of chana dal, chilli and coconut podi flavored ones. Although these are very commonly added to spice-up the vegetables, in our homes in Nandyala, Kurnool regions, along with peanuts and sesame, poppy seeds also make frequent appearance. Alone or together with coconut, both in dry style curries like the one I prepared today with okra and in sauce form like the one blogged here.

I realize that poppy seeds are not a familiar ingredient to many of you fellow Bharatiya. Their creamy-nut like flavor is really worth getting to know. You won’t regret trying, I assure you.

Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus, Gasagasalu)Poppy Seed PowderOkra (Bendakaya, Bendi, Ladies Fingers)


20 young and fresh looking okra (Bendakaya, Bendi)
3 tablespoons poppy seeds (Gasagasalu, Khus Khus)
3 dried red chillies – Indian variety
Salt and turmeric – to taste or ½ teaspoon each
Popu or tadka: 1 tablespoon peanut oil,
Pinch each – cumin, mustard seeds and 6 curry leaves

1 Trim the ends and cut the okra to quarter to half inch wide rounds. For a gummy free okra experience, follow the tips outlined here.

2 Roast poppy seeds in a dry, hot iron skillet for about 3 minutes, until they just start to color and release their aromas. Add dried red chillies and a pinch of salt and pound or blend all the ingredients together. Keep working until a nice, moist paste is formed. I usually use a spice grinder or Sumeet small jar for this purpose.

3 In a wide skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add and toast the tadka ingredients first and then add the okra pieces. Mix once and fry the pieces, very rarely stirring, until they are free from moisture. A well seasoned cast-iron skillet charms the okra to a beautiful crispiness. If you have one, use it for this recipe. When okra pieces transform from clinging kids to leave me alone type teenagers, it’s time to introduce the adulthood delights with spices. Add the poppy seed powder, turmeric and salt. Mix gently and saute for few more minutes.

Serve the curry hot with rotis/chapatis or with rice and dal. Okra-poppy seed curry makes a great tasting side dish.

Okra-Poppy Seed Curry
Okra-Poppy Seed Curry with Ragi Roti and Olive Chutney ~ Meal Today

Recipe Source: Amma, Nandyala
Poppy Seed Based Recipes from Archives:
Brinjal-Potato Curry ~ on Oct 25th, 05
Banana Pepper-Baby Potatoes in Poppy Seed Sauce ~ on April 21st, 06
Moong Dal Payasam ~ on June 9th, 06
Ridgegourd (Turai/Beerakaya) in Poppy Seed Sauce ~ on May 22nd, 07
Ratatouille:India Inspired ~ on July 10th, 07

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Benda Kaaya(Okra),Poppy Seeds (Tuesday August 28, 2007 at 9:45 pm- permalink)
Comments (20)

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20 comments for Gasagasalu ~ Bendakaaya »

  1. So sweet of you dear Indira! This is a wonderful curry and a must to try. I could get fresh okra here now ! But am planning to make a fry with your kobbara kaaram. Will do it over this weekend! Thanks a lot for your kindness!

    Comment by Nirmala — August 28, 2007 @ 10:14 pm

  2. As usual tempting,Indira.can we prepare this with the frozen ones? Ragi flour is lying in my kitchen for long,I will try that also,but I fear it will never be like u`rs.
    keep it up Indira,for u`r fabulous work.

    Comment by vee. — August 28, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

  3. Hi Inidra,

    Are u a poet? What a comparision for okara…..clinging kids to not touch me kind of teenagers..u really add flavor not only to curries but also to your words.

    Nice pictures and recipe. My Husband hates the smell of poppyseeds so I have to prepare this one for myself.

    Comment by laxmi — August 28, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

  4. I use gasalu in many of my dishes. Most of them are gravy types. Your variation looks tempting.

    Comment by Lakshmi — August 28, 2007 @ 11:15 pm

  5. I can eat okra any day of the week! Great recipe! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Comment by The Culinary Chase — August 29, 2007 @ 12:55 am

  6. what lovely analogy!!! clinging kids to leave me alone teenagers describes the cooking process of bendakaya perfectly. :)Looks tempting.

    Comment by Kamini — August 29, 2007 @ 4:05 am

  7. olive chutney?? hmm sounds new! maybe i shud give that a shot. i love olive seasoning on almost anything 🙂

    Comment by Nags — August 29, 2007 @ 6:22 am

  8. I love both, okra and poppy seeds. This dish looks great!

    Comment by Kumudha — August 29, 2007 @ 6:45 am

  9. I’ve never used poppy seeds before but I am very tempted to buy some & try this one out. 🙂

    Comment by TBC — August 29, 2007 @ 7:55 am

  10. Very nice item Indira. I like sesame and poppy seeds with peanuts. They release great aroma in any prep.

    Comment by vamc — August 29, 2007 @ 8:58 am

  11. Hi Indira,
    Love okra and poppy seeds with okra is the ultimate combination. I am very pleased to see the oilve chutney, how did you like it ?

    Comment by Madhu — August 29, 2007 @ 11:46 am

  12. Hi all: Nice to read your comments on this recipe. Thanks.

    Fresh okra and kobbari kaaram is a terrific combination. Happy cooking Nirmala.

    Vee: I guess you can try this curry with frozen ones, but they do ooze lot of gummy stuff compared to fresh okra.

    Hi Madhu: We loved the chutney. Thanks for such nice recipe.
    I made it with brown olives(kalamata olives), sundried tomatoes and red chillies. I also added little bit of lime juice and small piece of jaggery, plus salt. It was olivelicious with rotis.

    Comment by Indira — August 29, 2007 @ 10:10 pm

  13. Indira,

    donno why but everytime I use Khus Khus it makes the dish very very bitter, would you know why.
    Beautiful dish in BTW

    Comment by Sreelu — August 30, 2007 @ 10:56 am

  14. Indira, Can I borrow your ‘well seasoned’ cast iron pan please? 🙂 Mine are still on their way to the land of seasoned bliss. I so want to give it a try. Makes me want to buy a nonstick pan just to try this recipe… but well, I’ll resist and try it with my half-seasoned cast iron pans.

    I love the taste that poppy seeds bring to a dish… Must be all the khus-khusa halwa Amma kept feeding us when we were kids. 🙂

    Comment by Kay — August 30, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

  15. This looks delicious Indira! I have bendakaaya at home. Will surely try it right away! Never heard of a dry koora with gasagasalu.

    Comment by Latha — August 30, 2007 @ 3:17 pm

  16. “clinging kids to leave me alone type teenagers”
    lol that was so funny.. how did you come up with that kind of description and the picture looks perfect as always and i am sure kids, teenagers and adults will love the recipe.

    Comment by red velvet — August 31, 2007 @ 11:10 am

  17. We use khus khus in our daily cooking…either in powder form or paste form! I will try this version of yours too!


    Comment by Pranavi — September 3, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

  18. hi Indira,
    Wonderful recipe.. How to do with frozen ones? Does it need a fry? I suppose they become smashy if we fry them…howz it??
    Thank you..

    Comment by nivu — April 3, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  19. ఆంద్ర వంటలలో ఇన్ని రకాలు ఉంటయని తెలియదు. I just tried it. Its really wonderful. But added little bit daniya+vellulli powder to it. Now it taste too yummy.

    Comment by Venu Gopal Chaladi — June 10, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

  20. Hi Indira garu,

    Can you post the recipe for raagi rotti please.

    Comment by shanti — December 28, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

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