Tag Archives: Okra

White Velvet Okra, The Indian Way

White Velvet Okra, The Indian Way

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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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.

White Velvet Okragoa produces a lot of fruits and vegetables which are special to that region

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 :-).

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. Wipe the okra with a damp cloth.
  2. Remove the head and slice them into bite size pieces.
  3. In a bowl, mix the dry powders: coriander, cumin, turmeric and chilli.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok like pan.
  5. Once it is hot, add the fenugreek seeds followed by the asafoetida.
  6. Lower the heat and stir for about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the sliced okra, dry powders and salt to taste.
  8. Mix well, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Take off the flame and let the cooked vegetable rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

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How to Cook Slime-free Okra

How to Cook Slime-free Okra


How to Cook Slime-free Okra

 

 

 

 

 

I have been meaning to post this very quick tip on slime-free method of cooking okra for quite some time now.

This is a tip I have picked up from my mum and each time I cook okra this way, they are minus the associated slime or stickiness.

In all honestly, I have never researched how to cook stickiness-free okra on the internet since the following has always worked; if it is not new, my apologies.

All you have to do is:

  1. Have your unwashed okra in front of you.
  2. Take a very clean kitchen towel (cloth, not paper).
  3. Dampen the towel, squeezing out any excess moisture. You should end up with a piece of cloth which feels a little damp, no more.
  4. Wipe one okra at a time, placing it on a separate plate or in a separate bowl.
  5. You will end up with cleaned okra which will not turn slimy or sticky upon cooking.

Vegetable Sambar Using Ready Sambar Masala

Vegetable Sambar Using Ready Sambar Powder

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Vegetable Sambar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sambar making skills are as recent as 6 months old. This is how I cooked it the first time round and since it turned out so well, I have stuck to it.

here’s a fail safe sambar recipe which tastes yummy, is healthy and pretty authentic

A note on the sambar powder used. I know that homemade spice blends are unbeatable when it comes to taste but I have read many South Indian food bloggers who write that the MTR brand of masalas are as good as what you would make yourself. ‘Why fix it if it ain’t broke?’ is my philosophy so for bisi bele bhath, rasam and sambar, I use MTR brand of ready powder.

If you would like to make your own sambar masala, here are some links.

As for the vegetables, I tend to favour one pot meals and so to ensure that I get my share of 5 a day, my recipes usually involve plenty of vegetables. This sambar recipe includes onion, tomato, pumpkin, drumstick, okra and aubergine. You can add or subtract as per your preference but don’t skip the onion and tomato.

Sambar goes well with idli, dosa, paniyaram, uttapam or even plain rice. We had ours with some non-rice idli (recipe coming up next).

Ingredients

1.5 Cups toovar dal (split pigeon peas)

1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds

1 + 1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

4 Large onion or 10-12 Pearl/Sambar/Button onion

4 Tomato

150 Grams pumpkin

4 Drumstick

10-12 Okra

8 Baby aubergine

1 Tablespoon mustard seeds

2 Teaspoons asafoetida

1/4 Cup fresh curry leaves

1 Tablespoon chilli powder

2 Tablespoons sambar powder

2 Tablespoons tamarind paste

1 Tablespoon oil

Salt to taste

Method

  1. Soak the toovar dal and fenugreek seeds for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Add one teaspoon turmeric powder and a pinch of salt and boil till soft. You can either do this in a pressure cooker or on the stove.
  3. When you are ready to make the sambar, prep the vegetables.
  4. Peel and wash the onion. If using the large variety, quarter them and cut each quarter in half so you end up with large chunks. If using pearl/button/sambar onion, leave them whole.
  5. Wash and chop the tomato.
  6. Wash and cut the drumstick into 2-3 inch pieces.
  7. Wash and cube the pumpkin. No need to peel, the skin tastes good.
  8. Wipe each okra with a damp cloth, remove the top and cut in half.
  9. Wash and quarter baby aubergine and leave it in water to prevent it from discolouring.
  10. Wash the curry leaves.
  11. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  12. Once the oil is hot, reduce the heat and add mustard seeds.
  13. Once the seeds start crackling, add asafoetida followed by the curry leaves.
  14. Stir for 30 seconds.
  15. Add the onion, salt to taste and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  16. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  17. Next, add the tomato, again mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  18. After this, add the pumpkin and drumstick, cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
  19. Uncover, add the cooked toovar dal, tamarind paste, chilli powder, sambar powder, okra, aubergine, salt to taste and about 2 cups of water.
  20. Turn the heat to high and bring the sambar to rolling boil.
  21. Once it starts bubbling, turn down the heat, cover and cook the sambar for about 20 minutes.
  22. Take the pot off the gas and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  23. Enjoy hot.

Note:

  1. You can adjust the quantity of tamarind, chilli powder and sambar powder according to your personal taste.
  2. The consistency of sambar should be neither too thick nor too watery. The water measurement given here is an indication, please feel free to use your own judgement.
  3. You can cook the toovar dal ahead of time.
  4. Wiping the okra instead of washing them ensures that they don’t become sticky once cooked.
  5. Any leftovers can be refrigerated. It tastes just as good the following day.