Take that, fried okra

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? ๐Ÿ™‚

Grind together to form a paste:
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

Other ingredients:
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!

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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20 Responses to Take that, fried okra

  1. Vijay says:

    The finished product looks yummy. But as I said earlier on twitter (for the rest of purplesque's fans – & why aren't you all on twitter??) it looks a bit dry. Like poriyal rather than kuzhambu. I can't imagine having shallot-and-garlic-less kuzhambu o.O I understand the restrictions for shallots and garlic, but why fenugreek & lentils?Thanks for being adventurous and for mentioning my mother and wife. They will be thrilled.

  2. dewitte says:

    Wow – this looks great. I love Okra.

  3. Emjay says:

    This sounds really good. It is a shame that some things had to be left out.. Fenugreek has such a particular flavour that leaving it out must change the taste a little? I love the unpronounce-able name! I have tried rolling it off my tongue LOL.

  4. Lakshmi says:

    Yummy.Ummm.. what IS Shallot? Google, here I come.

  5. Pk says:

    I can't wait to try this!!!! We love okra in all forms!!

  6. Ooooh YUMMY!This looks and sounds FAB!!!Thanks for the recipe- Mr treehugger is gonna love me long time when I make him this!:)

  7. Purplesque says:

    Lol..I was thinking of your comment about using only shallots and not onions and wondering what you'd make of a shallot-less version. One of the in-laws doesn't like different kinds of lentils, and the fenugreek is deemed 'too strong'.

  8. Purplesque says:

    Thank you. I'm a huge okra fan myself, and love all versions except for the breaded and fried kind.

  9. Purplesque says:

    Ha ha..I was doing the same thing, trying to say it really fast when putting it on the table! This recipe is definitely a keeper, so I'll be making a more authentic version once the guests leave.

  10. Purplesque says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ I think we called them 'little onions' back home. I didn't really know there was much of a flavor difference until we came here.

  11. Purplesque says:

    Good luck! My favorite kind is whole okra, slit and stuffed with spices, then shallow fried until golden brown and crisp on a cast iron griddle. Yum!

  12. Purplesque says:

    Glad you liked the recipe..hope it turns out well for you and Mr. Treehugger. Like the author of the recipe said, this is a drier version. So go ahead and add more water if you like extra gravy. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Wow, this final product looks breath-taking! I absolutely love to make this. I think this is the only way I'll eat my okra from now on.

  14. Brown Suga' says:

    Yummy! This is one of my favourite dishes. I love okra.

  15. That looks sooooooooooooooo good!!!Twitter! I never think of it……….guess I should get back on there……….And thank you for adding a word to my vocabulary: jaggery — I looked it up. Fascinating!!

  16. Purplesque says:

    Glad you liked the recipe. We both really liked it as well..this one is definitely a keeper!

  17. Purplesque says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!I've been on twitter for a couple of months now, and have a lot of good friends, thanks to scanman, but it is a day long thing, rather than a-hour-a-day thing like Vox. I find myself falling behind all the time..

  18. TBC says:

    [cโ€™est top]

  19. Purplesque says:

    Glad you liked the recipe. This is the first time I've made/eaten okra gravy. I would love to be able to make adai avial, though, like they used to serve in Sarvana bhavan..

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