Okra (or Lady’s Fingers) is a bit like the Marmite of the vegetable kingdom – you either obsess over the flavour or the very thought of them induces a face-squirm. I am firmly in the former camp. I think the issue stems from the fact that Okra can be really slimy, but if you follow some easy steps you will cook up the perfect Okra every time. Start by choosing smaller Okra that show no signs of discolouring. Next rinse them whole and drain well. I will return them to a colander lined with a clean tea-towel and let them continue to dry for another hour before slicing. Water is the enemy here, and if your Okra are wet, they are likely to cook up into gloop. I use a dry board and a dry knife to slice them and will keep some kitchen towel to hand to wipe the knife if it starts to get sticky. The drier you can keep it all before adding to the pan the better. It may sound like a production, but the finished dish is totally worth it. They are so achingly delicious and are extremely nourishing for the entire digestive tract too. This is my version of the popular Indian Bhindi Bhaji. Excellent as part of a larger curry spread or on its own with basmati rice. The yumness of Autumn.
2 TBSP Coconut Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Green Chili, seeded and chopped
1 TBSP Ginger, minced
1 Onion, chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Ginger & Garlic Masala (or Hot Curry Powder)
¼ tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 Clove Garlic, mashed
3 Ripe Tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
250g Okra, rinsed and well dried
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Dhania to garnish (optional)
- Heat the oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds, chili, ginger and onion stirring well after each addition. Fry the onion until translucent.
- Add the garam masala, ginger & garlic masala (or curry powder), turmeric, cumin and garlic. Stir through before adding tomatoes. Combine well, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Top and tail the okra and slice. Add to tomatoes, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until just tender. Add a little water if sticking.
- Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped dhania (coriander) to garnish.