RECIPE: Okra Masala

Okra is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate, there’s usually no in between.

Cooked in this dry, spicy curry though it would be hard not to enjoy. The health benefits of okra are numerous with the insoluble fiber count alone making this a vegetable that packs a serious punch. It’s also high in calcium and vitamin A so it’s great for your bones, eyes, heart, and digestion.

Curry is naturally warming and ignites your digestive fire, or agni, making it a healthy choice any day of the year. Or if you follow any ayurvedic traditions and know your constitution, you will know when your body responds best to warming curries rather than cooling dishes such as cucumber raita.

Serve your dry curry with wholesome, hearty brown rice, spicy diced potatoes, or with a delicious gluten-free naan bread. You can also pair this with other curries for a traditional Indian feast.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb okra (bhindi/ladyfingers/gumbo)
  • 1-2 green chilis, deseeded
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp desiccated coconut (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 ½ Tbsp good quality oil (extra virgin olive, coconut, or avocado)
  • Salt

Method

  1. Prepare okra by washing and very thoroughly drying 4 hours before you’re ready to cook it to prevent it turning sticky. Once completely dry, top and tail the okra, slice, and leave aside.
  2. In a food processor or high powered blender, coarsely chop the green chilis, ginger, and garlic cloves into a thick paste.
  3. Heat 1 ½ Tbsp oil over medium and saute the okra for approximately 8 minutes, until it turns dark green in color. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Heat the rest of the oil and toast the cumin seeds until they start to turn darker and crackle/pop. Scoop in the paste and cook for about a minute.
  5. Add the diced onion, sprinkle in some salt and cook until the onion is translucent. Sprinkle the turmeric and garam masala over the mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Add the okra back into the pan and saute everything together for about a minute.
  7. Finally, sprinkle the desiccated coconut, ground cumin, and ground coriander to the okra and combine. Add salt to taste.
  8. Serve hot, topped with fresh cilantro. You can eat this on its own or with brown rice, diced potatoes, chickpeas, or dahl.

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