October 10, 2009

Okra Again?

Gujarati Okra 1

My second okra (‘bhinda’ in Gujarati, pronounced: BHin-DaH) recipe is a traditional ‘stir-fried’ curry as opposed to the first recipe I shared with you which was a creation of my own. This is the way my family and I usually eat okra at home, simply with chapattis (‘rotli’). Even my dad (a former okra hater) confessed that he now loves the stuff! Win. I love the simplicity of this dish, it is so easy to prepare yet has amazing and powerful flavours. Okra are in season at the moment so you will find some super fresh ones at your greengrocers… Grab ‘em before someone else does!

Whole Okra

*Grabbed* MINE!

Traditional Gujarati Okra

Ingredients

1 lb okra, trimmed and sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp sugar
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp asafoetida
*1 green chilli, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp black pepper, ground
Salt to taste
3 tbsp oil (I know this sounds like a lot, but you really need it as you won’t be adding any water at any time- this would make the okra slimy. Once the dish is cooked you can drain the excess oil away with a paper towel).

Sliced Okra

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan or wok, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to pop. Then add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, chilli and tomato.

2. Cook for a minute and then add the sugar, salt, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, black pepper and allow for the water in the tomato to reduce right down until the oil becomes visible on the surface. Keep stirring.

3. Add the okra to the tomato base and ‘stir fry’ on a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the okra are tender.
TIP: Never put a lid on the pan when cooking okra. The evaporated water will roll down into the curry from via the lid and make the okra slimy and sticky. Yuck.

Gujarati Okra 3

4. Finish with the lemon juice.

5. Enjoy!

Gujarati Okra 2

*The chillies and tomatoes I have been using in all my cooking this week had been given to us by a family friend who grows the most wonderful vegetables in his garden. The chillies (my dad’s favourite ingredient in the whole entire world! No, really. He eats them RAW on a daily basis) are just so pretty to look at, so I thought I would share a few pictures with you all. Thank you Eric for the lovely vegetables you brought to us!

Homegrown Tomatoes

Fresh!

Homegrown Chillies

Colours! No dull chillies here…

Homegrown Chillies 2

… Or here!

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6 responses to “Okra Again?”

  1. Candy says:

    Beautiful recipes. I just started trying out curries and I realize I have a LOT to learn 😛 You have lots of varieties here too, great blog 🙂

  2. Kathy Gori says:

    wow! I've only found one okra dish my husband will eat. Looking forward to experimenting on him with this one.

  3. Sanjana says:

    Thank you both! Kathy, I hope you can get him hooked with this recipe!

  4. Arti says:

    Home grown tomatoes are the best! shame i cant keep the plants alive :s lol…keep me away from them chillies…u know ill put too many in whatever i cook!

  5. Anonymous says:

    We cut ours very thin so they are easier to dry out

  6. Alexander van Loon says:

    Sanjana, thank you so much for this recipe. I tried a few other okra recipes before finding this one, but those recipes were failures. This one is not only tasty, but relatively easy to prepare too.

    One question however, I'm reasonably sure I put in three tablespoons of oil, even though I didn't measure it exactly, but in the end there was no oil left to drain. Am I the only one experiencing this? What variables could influence the absorption of the oil into the spice/tomato mixture and the okra, maybe my gas flame was too high? I'm afraid the dish became less healthy because so much oil was absorbed?

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