So there I was at the good old grocery store of Patels, in the sweltering heat of NC and chit chatting with the guy at the counter. Stuff about India, how hot it was in early spring and the idiosyncratic need to repeat the same song or bhajan in the store, when I spotted the an unopened box sitting on the counter. You know the kind, that is a crate and has the green stuff peeking out of it. It seemed suspiciously like okra, the green okra from across the ocean. Siren’s call heard and yielded.. I bought 3 pounds of it ! Fresh and tender and so green..
There are a gazillion recipes for okra, but this is one that brings out the simple flavors of it with minimal effort and great taste! This particular dish is the dry sabji kind and tastes heavenly with the south indian meal of rasam and rice. Comfort food to the core I say!
Comfort because it calls out to my mom’s kind of cooking. Simple fare , but fit for a king!
- Wash the okra very well in a couple of bowls of water and let them air dry on a towel.
- Once they are completely dry, pat dry once more to remove even a trace or droplet of water with a towel.Moist, damp okra will yield stringy cuts with mucus. Not your best option on the menu!
2 Lbs Okra : washed, patted dry, ends snipped and cut in 1/2 inch pieces
- Urad Dal split : 1 tsp
- Channa Dal : 1 stp
- Dry Red chillies : 2 split
- Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
- Mom’s special kari powder : 1 tsp
- Asafoetida : 1 pinch
- Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
- Salt : 1 tsp / to taste
- Saffola / cooking Oil : 1 Tbsp
- In a large non-stick wok, heat up the oil and add in the Asafoetida. Add in the mustard seeds and once it splutters, add in the dal seasonings and red chillies and let them brown.
- Add in the turmeric powder and then add in the cut okra.
- Gently stir fry it in medium heat. The idea is for the okra to get nicely stir fried and tender cooked. Adding in salt before it is well cooked will bring out the natural water from it and you will have a soggy mess on your hands 🙁
- Once the okra is well cooked, season with salt and Mom’s special Kari powder.
- Gently toss it to ensure the spices and salt is well coated and serves it hot with a bowl of rasam and rice or as part of large meal.