Pishima’s Stuffed Okra
-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
This is my favorite stuffed okra recipe, and I have stuck as close as
possible to the original version I learned from my well-wishing
Vaishnava teacher and cooking inspiration, Pishima.
Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
1 ½ pounds (685 g) tender okra, preferably 4-inch
(10 cm) pods, washed and thoroughly dried
2 table spoons (30 ml) coarsely crushed coriander seeds
1 table spoon (15 ml) coarsely crushed cumin seeds
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fennel seeds
½ teaspoon (2 ml) freshly ground pepper
1 table spoon (15 ml) garam masala
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) cayenne pepper or paprika
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafetida powder (hing)
½ teaspoon (2 ml) turmeric
1 table spoon (15 ml) ground almonds
½ teaspoon (2 ml) amchoor powder or
½ table spoon (7 ml) lemon juice
5 table spoons (75 ml) ghee or sunflower oil
½ table spoon (7 ml) salt
This amount applies only to yellow Cobra brand. Reduce any other asafetida by three-fourths.
Slice off the stem end and 1/8 inch (3 mm) off the tip of each
okra pod. Slit each one lengthwise, leaving ¼ inch (6 mm) unslit at
both ends, taking care not to cut the pods in half.
Combine the crushed coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds,
black pepper, garam masala, cayenne or paprika, asafetida, turmeric,
ground almonds and amchoor powder if you’re using it. After mixing the
ingredients together, drizzle in the lemon juice (if you haven’t used
amchoor) and 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of ghee or oil, and crumble through
your fingers to blend well into a dry, oatmeal like consistency.
Using a teaspoon or butter knife, ease about ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) of
the stuffing evenly into each slit. Working one at a time, stuff, then
press the cut edges closed and set aside, until ready to cook.
When you are ready to fry the okra, place the ghee or oil in a
heavy –bottomed 12-inch (30 cm) frying pan over moderately high heat.
When it is hot but not smoking, add the stuffed okra and spread the
pods into one layer. Cover, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for
about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, gently turn the okra to ensure even
browning, and fry, turning frequently, for 20-25 minutes or until the
okra is tender, golden brown and crisp. Depending on the size of the
pods, cooking time will vary. Transfer the okra to paper towels, salt
and gently toss. Serve piping hot.