Spicy Okra with Coconut
MASALA BHINDI SABJI
-Recipe from Yamuna mataji
Here is another easy and delicious okra dish, Pan-fried with whole
spices and grated coconut. As the okra browns lightly, the seasoned
coconut forms a flavorsome crust. If you do not have fresh or frozen
grated coconut on hand, substitute ground almonds –equally delicious.
Keep in mind that okra releases a glutinous sap when cut and sweats
when salted, so dry it thoroughly and salt after cooking. You can serve
this South Indian dish with practically anything.
Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
1 pound (455 g) okra, preferably small
(3-4 inches/7.5-10 cm long)
4 table spoons (60 ml) ghee or sesame oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon (5 ml) slightly crushed cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafetida powder (hing)
½ teaspoon (2 ml) turmeric
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) cayenne pepper or paprika
1/3 cup (35g) grated fresh coconut or frozen coconut (55 g), defrosted,
or ½ cup (50 g) ground almonds
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
This amount applies only to yellow Cobra brand. Reduce any other asafetida by three-fourths.
Wash the okra and dry thoroughly on paper towels. (if it is a
warm day, air-dry in the sun.) Trim off the tips and stems and slice
into rounds ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.
2. Heat the ghee
or oil in a 10-12 inch (25-30 cm) nonstick frying pan over moderately
high heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the black mustard seeds
and cumin seeds and fry until the mustard seeds turn gray and sputter
and pop. Drop in the asafetida and immediately follow with the okra.
Spread the okra into a single layer and reduce the heat to moderate.
Stir in the turmeric, cayenne or paprika and coconut or almonds and
cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown the okra
evenly. You may want to add sprinkles of water if the okra dries out
3. When the okra is golden brown and
crusty, remove the pan from the heat, add the salt and cover for 1
minute before serving.