As I have mentioned many times, okra (lady's finger) is one other family favorite, and whenever I buy it, most of the times it is this simple curry that I make with it. This is a very basic curry that goes well as a side dish to both rotis and rice with some dal..
Need To Have
- Okra - 2 cups, 1/2" pieces
- Sambar Powder - 3 teaspoons
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
- Urad Or Black Gram Dal - 1 teaspoon
- Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
- Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
- Curry Leaves - 10
- Salt - to taste
Heat some oil, add the urad dal and the mustard seeds, once it starts spluttering add the asafoetida followed by the cut okra.
Mix, cover and cook the okra in low heat for about 5 to 7 minutes, mixing 3 or 4 times in between. Then remove the lid, add the salt, turmeric and sambar powders, mix and keep sauteing it for about 7 to 10 minutes till it looks nicely fried. Finally add the curry leaves, mix for a minute and serve it warm with rice and dal.
Initially when covering and cooking the okra, the sticky substance from the okra will start sticking to the pan, do not worry, that's how the okra looses the stickiness, also do not add salt at this stage.
You can also add a tablespoon of curd at this stage, to make the stickiness go away.
Sambar powder is available in Indian stores, though many of us South Indians do have homemade ones.
You can replace sambar powder with red chilli powder, but use 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon depending on its spiciness.
While mixing lift the okra from the bottom and put on the top, repeat, do it gently otherwise the pieces will break and the whole dish will become mushy.
For a slight variation, can add one chopped tomato at the end, cover for 2 minutes and cook so the tomatoes wilt slightly, this goes well with rotis.