Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Okra Curry (BendaKaya Kura)

Bendakaya, Okra
Okra (Bendakaya in Telugu and Bendi in Hindi)

As a whole, okra looks handsome and wholesome.

Cut it open, you realise that you are dealing with one needy veggie. Like a toddler who hangs on to mother’s saree, okra clings to everything that is in sight. To the cutting board, to the knife, to the pot and it slips in your mouth too. No wonder it elicits strong reaction from people. I like okra and I don’t mind its clinginess because I know how to deal with it. I have few tricks and tips to make it less sticky. Keep in mind, I am talking about the fresh okra and not the frozen kind, which are hopeless to reform.

Cut Okra

Recipe and some tips:
(For two, for one serving)

20 to 25 fresh, whole okra - washed thoroughly, then rubbed in a clean cloth, to remove all the moisture. This small step alone reduces the clinginess by 50%. After making sure they are clean and dry, slice each one, crosswise into half centimeter thick pieces. By now you may notice, touch of knife brings out the thick, viscous substance in okra. So in between cutting, periodically, wipe the cutting board and knife with a paper towel to remove the sticky stuff that’s accumulated.

1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
6 green chillies and 1 tbs of coconut - made into smooth paste
Turmeric and salt to your taste
And the usual ingredients of popu or tadka

Preparation:

In a wide pan or in a well-seasoned iron skillet, heat one teaspoon of peanut oil. Do the popu or tadka (toasting 1 tsp of each, mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves and chopped garlic).

Add and saute onions till soft and brown. Then add the cut okra slices. Sprinkle in turmeric, salt, and fine paste of greenchilli-coconut. Mix them all once, allow them to cook for 5 minutes, covered on medium heat.

After 5 minutes, remove the cover and stir them once. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let them saute or cook openly. This is the time to show restraint. Do not stir and mix at all, at this stage. The more you stir and the more okra breaksdown and oozes clingy stuff. So don’t stir. Let it cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. As a result, round okra slices will be intact in shape and tender, lightly browned in the bottom and crunchy - perfection. Serve hot.

Tastes good with rice-dal combination and also with chapatis/rotis.

Okra Curry with Rice
Okra curry and rice ~ Our Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Vegetables, Benda Kaaya(Okra), Amma & Authentic Andhra (Friday January 6, 2006 at 11:25 am- permalink)
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