White Velvet Okra, The Indian Way
I have just returned from a short break in Goa, a veritable food lovers’ paradise.
Memorable dinners include prawn curry (one of THE best I’ve ever had), red snapper stuffed with Goan masala, chicken biriyani and a kind of mutton stew. All to be enjoyed with some very moreish cashew feni!
Walked around Mapusa market which has the most amazing varieties of fresh produce, foods and other stuff. Unfortunately, I had left my camera in the room so couldn’t take photos and I was kicking myself throughout the visit to the market.
One of those is white okra (safed bhindi). This variety of okra is very pale green in colour, slightly thicker in circumference and easily 10″-12″ long. Given its size, the vegetable is sold in units instead of by weight. The cooked okra is quite buttery in terms of texture.
I looked up white okra on the internet but there isn’t much information on this vegetable in cyberspace. According to this website, the vegetable (also known as white velvet okra) used to be grown in the Southern United States.
I did try Goan style okra while there and the taste is interesting because they add wet kokum to it (a first for me). But the following recipe is for regular Indian style okra adapted to white okra.
Will go well with any type of bread.
In the photograph above, in the salad on the left you might have noticed some cut lemons. They are also local to Goa. Slightly bigger than a golf ball, they have orange flesh and are unbelievably juicy.
Plenty of Goan trips are on the cards in the coming months so will be sharing more about Goan food culture as and when :-).
12 White Okra (or 500 grams regular okra)
1 Tablespoon coriander powder
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
1-2 Teaspoons turmeric powder
1-2 Teaspoons chilli powder
1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds
1-2 Teaspoons asafoetida
1 Tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
- Wipe the okra with a damp cloth.
- Remove the head and slice them into bite size pieces.
- In a bowl, mix the dry powders: coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli.
- Heat the oil in a wok like pan.
- Once it is hot, add the fenugreek seeds followed by the asafoetida.
- Lower the heat and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the sliced okra, dry powders and salt to taste.
- Mix well, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Take off the flame and let the cooked vegetable rest for about 5 minutes before serving.