Indian style Okra

A typical dinner at our place always consists of 1 vegetable, 1 lentil soup, some salad, yogurt and roti. Certain pairings of lentil and vegetables work best and that's something you acquire with growing up on Indian meals. In restaurants, a lavish version of what I have explained may have up to 3 vegetables preparations, a side of pickle, yogurt, and papad (crispy lentil chip that is fried or roasted) and this combination is called a thali meal. The exact translation of the word thali is a steel plate we eat our food on.

The okra preparation I am going to describe is a very common preparation in most North Indian homes and often everyone's favorite too. Its either cut round or slit lengthwise and people have strong preferences on one way or the other, hard to believe, but take my word on it. The lengthwise is cooked with lots of sliced onions, and sometime potatoes too. Prepare it either way, the spices are the same. Just add onions and potatoes before the okra and lid the container for 10mins to cook the potato, and then add in the okra, mix everything and cook for another 15-20mins on slow flame.

3-4 lbs of okra
3 tbsp canola oil
pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp turmeric pwd
2 tsp red chilly pwd
3 tsp coriander pwd
2 tsp dry mango pwd (amchur)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
salt to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice

Heat oil in a non-stick of calphalon pan, add the mustard seeds, wait till the splatter, then reduce the flame and add in asafoetida, turmeric, red chilli pwd, and coriander pwd and amchur, followed by chopped okra, salt and lemon juice. Mix everything and let it cook with lid for 10 minutes on medium flame, re-stirring and allowing it to cook without the lid for another 15-20 minutes on lowest flame, intermittently stirring.

Health Benefits:
Okra is powerhouse of vitamins and nutrients such as A, Thiamin, B6, C, folic acid, riboflavin, calcium, zinc and dietary fiber. Besides being very low in calories, the mucilage and fiber helps adjust blood sugar, and maintain a healthy GI tract.


Anonymous,  April 04, 2011  

Hey Shweta
Great to see you going great guns with this blog! I come back from time to time to check if anything new to catch my fancy but unfortunately, the ingredients you use are not always readily available here in India :( Perhaps you can provide something for us too, the underpriveleged ones? ;)

Eitherway, couldn't help but provide you with a twist on this old favourite:

You can cook okras with kalonji (I forget what it's called in english) instead of cumin/mustard/corriander seeds also. It's also a simpler recipe with just turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt added. And the twist: add about 1/2 cup of boiled moong daal (drain the water) to it just before finishing off the sauteeing... try it, it gives a new look and turns out quite delicious too! Btw, this is a bengali touch to cooking vegetables - adding boiled lentils to the dish :)




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