Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bendakai/Ladyfinger/Okra Curry

So I know that okra totally gets a bad rap above the Mason-Dixon line . . . but it is SO SO good in this curry. Also, in India it’s called “ladyfinger,” which I think is kind of cute.

About 1 ½ cups okra, chopped into ½ inch pieces.
½ of 1 small onion
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon moong dal
¼ teaspoon turmeric
10 curry leaves
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste (literally, equal amounts of ginger and garlic mashed together with a bit of salt added as a preservative. Supposedly it’ll keep in the fridge for a month, and you could totally use it in stir-fries as well . . . )
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried coconut
Pinch of salt
½ tsp meat masala (a sweeter garam masala with cinnamon and cloves. You can buy it pre-made . . . Everest and MTR are good brands that you should be able to find in Indian stores in the U.S.)

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan; add the cumin, mustard seeds, and dal and cook for about 30 seconds. Add turmeric and stir. Toss in onions, then add about ½ cup water; let cook for about 5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste, chili, coconut, and salt and cook for about 5 more minutes, adding more water if the mixture starts to dry up; it should be somewhat watery and gravy-like. Add okra and simmer ‘till it’s tender; sprinkle on meat masala and serve with yogurt.

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