Thursday, 9 October 2008
I was going to put this recipe up another day if not for Jan (see her yummy site HERE) who wanted to know more about okra...So, I am posting this recipe now.
This is one of my favourite vegetables …. Actually I like nearly all veg except parsnips (which I call albino carrots) and brussel sprouts. However, it is so expensive here. We cannot get this under $8.00 a kg at any time in Canberra. One would think it is grown in soil laden with gold! BTW, Mr G has just planted some okra seeds. Fingers crossed, they grow!
Okra is also known as lady's finger, bhindi (Hindi) and gumbo. It is a flowering plant in the mallow family (along with such species as cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus). Okra is valued for its edible green fruits. In Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Yemen, and other parts of the eastern Mediterranean, okra is widely used in a thick stew made with vegetables and meat. In Indian cooking, it is sautéed or added to gravy-based preparations and is very popular in South India. In the Caribbean islands, okra is cooked up and eaten as soup, often with fish. In Haiti, it is cooked with rice and maize; it is also used as a sauce for meat. It became a popular vegetable in Japanese cuisine toward the end of the 20th century, served with soy sauce and katsuobushi or as tempura. It is used as a thickening agent in gumbo. Breaded, deep fried okra is served in the southern United States. The immature pods may also be pickled. (Source: WIKIPEDIA)
Anyway, enough of my Okra 101. This is how I make this dish.
½ kg okra – washed then sliced thinly at an angle. Do not slice and then wash….it is unhygienic and also, this would make the okra very slimy!
1 onion – sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 medium tomato – diced (optional)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 to 2 eggs
1 heaped tbsp tamarind pulp – soaked in 1 cup hot water and allow to ‘steep’ before extracting the juice.
Salt to taste
1 to 2 tbsp cooking oil
Heat oil in a wok. Make sure you have a lid handy. Add in the mustard seeds and cover the wok until the mustard seeds stop popping. Add in the onions and garlic and fry for 1 to 2 mins. Add in the sliced okra and mix well. Cook for I min, stirring constantly.
Next add in the turmeric, mix well and add ½ of the tamarind juice. Stir well, cover the wok and allow to cook for 1 min. Lift lid, stir well and add in the rest of the juice and the salt. Don’t panic if you see ‘slime’ from the vegetable – okras do that.
Stir well and cook for another 1 to 2 mins. You want the okra to be still slightly crunchy. Now break in the eggs, mix well to distribute the egg. Add in the tomatoes if using. Mix evenly, lift and serve with curries or dhal….yummy yum yum!