A few weeks back, I came across a fabulous okra dish when out with friends for Indian food. As luck would have it, the next day I found myself with a small bunch of okra at my CSA pickup. It was as if the hand of fate was screaming at me, Okra! Okra!
Ok, ok all ready. I’ll make okra.
I am not entirely versed in okra. As in, this is my first time cooking it. So I don’t have any more words of wisdom, than a quick google search could tell you. But one of the things that stood out about the Indian dish, was that the okra had a nice crunch to it. In order to achieve this, I decided to cook the vegetable separate of the sauce. This worked wonderful, and unlike many dishes where the spices should simmer with the vegetables to ensure proper flavor, FLAVOR is one thing that this dish does not lack.
The ensuing dish, is one inspired by a Bhindi Masala. And while, Bhindi-Masala-Made-By-Girl-Who-Has-No-Idea-How-To-Make-Bhindi-Masala, has a nice ring to it, it was just too long.
So, Spiced Okra it is.
4 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T fresh ginger, minced
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t corinader
1 t garam masala
1/2 t turmeric powder
1/2 t chili powder (or more, to taste)
10-15 okra, washed, pat dry and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 med onion, chopped
2 small green peppers, chopped
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
In a large saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté 3-4 minutes, until garlic begins to brown. Add tomatoes, salt, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chili powder. Stir well, and cook 12-15 minutes, until tomatoes completely break down. Turn off heat.
In a medium saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil over high heat. Add okra, onion and peppers. Cook, 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are just tender, stirring often. Transfer to pan with sauce and stir well. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and adjust spices, to taste. Serve over Basmati rice or with Naan.