The Sensitive Kitchen

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Okra Dry Curry

The unusual step of microwaving the okra helps to dry the mucilaginous compounds and keep the slices separated in the pan while simultaneously allowing the use of less oil. Skip this step and you can use the following basic technique with almost any cooked vegetable.

1 pound small okra, preferably no longer than 3"
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chile
1/2 tsp urid dal
4-5 fresh curry leaves
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
3 Tbsp unsweetened dessicated coconut

Wash okra, then cut off and discard stems and tips. Slice okra pods into 1/8"-inch-thick slices. Lay the slices in a single layer on a microwaveable plate and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 minutes (you will have to do this in batches). Allow okra to cool on the plates, then scrape with a wooden spoon into a bowl.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add chile, mustard and cumin seeds, and cover immediately. When popping noises subside, add urid dal. When it begins to turn golden brown, add curry leaves. When crackling subsides, scrape okra into saucepan, stirring to coat with oil and spices. Salt the okra and cook for a couple of minutes until the okra slices are fully dried out and not sticking together much. Sprinkle with cumin, coriander and turmeric; stir and cook a minute until spices are evenly distributed and fragrant. Sprinkle with coconut, stir to distribute, and remove from heat. Serves 4 normal humans or 1 okra lover.

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