Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A slippery situation

Mention Okra and you will find many people who love to hate it - the reason that this crisp vegetable gets a bad rap is because: (a) Ooze - if the vegetable is damp from rinsing it will ooze while cooking; (b) if it is overcooked it will turn gelatinous.

Be good to yourself and indulge in this vegetable, or more like: Indulge as much as you can.
The reason is simple. Okra or ladies fingers (british english name), you're doing yourself a favor. Okra has lots of vitamin C and plenty of B vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, potassium and calcium. It also is high in fiber.

Once treasured as a delicacy in Moorish Spain, this vegetable had its origin in Ethiopia. From that ancient land, it traveled north to the Mediterranean shores and east to India.

As children our grandmother encouraged us to eat our okra as it said to increase brain power! Research now shows that okra contains a fair amount of folic acid which helps prevent neural tube defects in developing fetuses….not an old wife’s tale after all.

I make okra quite regularly as my husband enjoys it and here is one version of the vegetable side dish I make. I am often asked what is the magic to making this delicious dish? It is quite straightforward and that is the honest truth! I hope you can enjoy the simplicity of this dish.

Kale Aloo Bhindi


1 lbs okra / ladiesfinger, rinsed and completely dry (not a spot of moisture) and cut into 1 inch pieces
½ lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
1 + ½ tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
2 tsp Amchur powder (dry mango powder) or 2 tsp lime juice
2 - 4 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Heat a pan and broil the coriander seeds and 1 tsp of the cumin seeds. Cool and powder. Heat oil in a pan and add ½ tsp cumin seeds and allow to sputter. Add the turmeric powder and chopped potatoes. Cook on a low flame until the potatoes are ¾ cooked. Add the okra, cumin/coriander powder, chili powder (optional), lime juice and salt. Cover and cook until the okra is tender but still firm. Serve warm on ciabatta bread with garlic aioli or with roti’s and dal.
This recipe has been submitted for the event Green Gourmet, created and hosted by Preeti of Write Food

1 comment:

bindu said...

tried your method with the bhindis today morning...came out better than i have ever made before :) :)