So I have this twitter pal who likes to talk about all the great food his mom and wife feed him every morning. As if that didn't hurt enough, he even posts pictures!
When he mentioned okra gravy, or Vendakkai puzhikuzhambu (I can't pronounce it either), I just had to get his recipe. His mom and wife painstakingly recited the recipe. Painstaking, because nothing is ever measured in a traditional Indian recipe, and trying to quantify pinches and handfuls is not easy. I know, I've been there. He typed it all out and added some comments and links, but there's no credit in that, is there? 🙂
I cup coconut, fresh/frozen/dried
1 tbsp roasted yellow split peas/ roasted peanuts
3-4 chopped shallots
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 cup water
1 tbsp tamarind pulp/paste (or use double the quantity of lime juice)
1 lb okra, chopped into 1 inch pieces( I used frozen)
10 shallots, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tsp each yellow split peas and split white lentils
1 tsp mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sambhar powder
1/2 tsp powdered fenugreek seeds
1/8 tsp asfoetida
1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar
What to do:
Heat the oil in a wide saute pan. Lightly fry mustard seeds, the lentils and curry leaves.
Add the okra pieces and salt and fry lightly till they change color. (This step is important, as it will stop the okra from getting slimy when you add the water).
Add chopped shallots and garlic & saute until the shallots are soft.
Add the tomatoes & cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the paste, sambhar powder, and salt to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the tamarind paste and jaggery/sugar. Bring to a boil.
Add fenugreek and asfoetida before switching off the heat. Serve with rice or flatbreads.
I did not follow the recipe exactly. We made it without the shallots, garlic, fenugreek seeds, or lentils (houseguest dietary constrictions). It was still utterly delicious. Thanks for a great recipe, Mom and Mrs. Scanman!