Friday, July 16, 2010

Spicy Okra

Okra (also known as "bhendi" in Hindi and "vendaikkai" in Tamil) is a popular choice in Indian cooking. It's a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in several ways - in curries, stuffed and dry roasted or just stir-fried with some basic spices. The last one is the version i keep coming back to when i make okra. I love the fact that a simple, uncomplicated recipe with minimal ingrdients can yield such an amazing dish! :) And given the minimal use of oil, there is no guilty feeling to fend off.

The only thing to be wary of is the kind of okra that you buy - you need to pick those that are tender for best results. To test, gently press the center part of the okra - you should be able to press it easily without effort. If it feels hard, don't pick it. As i learnt from experience, the hard ones can ruin the dish.

250gms Okra
1 to 1 -1/2 tsp Chilli powder (*as per your chilli tolerance)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (also known as jeera)
Salt, to taste
a pinch of Turmeric powder
Oil, as needed

Making the Spicy Okra:
Wash the okra and put them on a clean tea towel. Pat dry the pieces until there is absolutely no water on the vegetables - this is important to ensure they don't get mushy when you cook them. Cut off the ends and discard them, and then cut the okra into even-sized pieces. Put a non-stick utensil on medium heat and add in about 2 tsp of oil. Add in the cumin seeds and stir. When the cumin seeds start to sputter, tip in the okra and toss around until all the pieces are well coated with the oil. Add the salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder and toss well to ensure the okra pieces are well-coated with the spices. Turn off the heat and put the okra pieces into a microwave-proof bowl. Cover the bowl and pop into the microwave on High for 2 to 2-1/2 mins. Take out once its done, add a tsp of oil and mix well. Put the vessel back in the microwave - this time without the lid - on High for 1-1/2 to 2 mins. Once its done, take out and serve. Enjoy it as a side dish with rice or bread or just add a dollop of yoghurt to it

Posted by Yamini V
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This is a vegetable I buy every week and cook and eat it in a variety of ways. Love okra!


crunchy, yummy okra! Very nice shot too! Thanks for posting at my blog! I will be coming here often!


i absolutley love okra! Thanks for the recipe!


@Cynthia, Adelina and Khaddy: thanks for your comments :) i love okra too! :)

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