Ladies finger/Bhindi, as we commonly know it, Okra as many of us probably know it has a bad reputation as a sticky veggie. It can be converted from this sticky veggie into a crispy and a chewy addiction. It is one of those rare rare things that has a “good for you” attached to it and actually tastes delicious. It is believed to increase your brain power (or something like that).
What I am posting is a simple South Indian side dish. This tastes best when made during the Okra season when you would find the young and tender ones. This is a mildly spiced dish, highlighting just the Okra.
– Wash the Okra well. Dry them well to avoid the stickiness later on.
– Trim the ends and chop them into small pieces.
– Wipe off the slime from the knife at regular intervals to reduce the mushy texture.
– Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add mustard seeds. Allow spluttering. Now add in the curry leaves and turmeric powder. Mix.
– Add the chopped Okra and salt to taste.
– Cover with a lid and cook for maximum of 40 seconds on medium- high heat. This helps in creating the steam to cook the okra. (Don’t over cook, as this will make the Okra mushy)
– Reduce the flame to low. Remove the lid, stir slightly.
– Cook in open. Don’t stir for 8-10 minutes.(Stirring increases the stickiness)
– Gently toll the okra to cook the other side too. Cook for another 5-6 minutes.
– It is done when soft with little crispiness. Stop cooking while its still green else it will turn brown. Green colour looks tempting right…
– Serve as accompaniment with steamed rice and Sambar.
– If for some reason, you are not using fresh tender Okra, try adding some kind of souring agent like yogurt/lime juice/Tamarind juice to Okras while making the dish tends to reduce the stickiness. The acidity reacts with the liquid from Okra and reduces the slime when cooking the vegetable. You can even add tomato for the same reason.
– You can even add onions if you don’t have enough Okra, my mom makes this stir fry adding onions..I use it very rarely.
– Instead of the Garam Masala, you can use chopped green chillies. Add them along with the curry leaves and turmeric powder.