Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hot and Sour Okra

This recipe is dedicated to all my siblings who salivate at the thought of “sour goodies.” In fact, if any of you were around this afternoon, there wouldn’t have been any leftovers to photograph—it’s that irresistible! I used two different astringent ingredients—aamchoor (dried mango powder) and lemon juice—to give depth and sharpness to the sour note. My recommended measurements for both are keeping in mind more conservative palates. Just how much of each you use really depends on your taste buds and the potency of the ingredients. It’s better to start with less and to amplify the tartness based on your tolerance.

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 tsp whole Black Mustard seeds
1 tsp whole Cumin
¼ tsp Hing (Asafoetida)
2 Shallots, thinly sliced
8–10 Green Chillies, minced
2 tsp freshly ground Ginger
1½ lbs [700 gms] Okra, with the stalks and ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch–long pieces
1 tbsp ground Coriander
½ tsp Turmeric powder
Salt (to taste)
1½ tsp Aamchoor (dried mango powder)
Juice of ½ Lemon
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or frying pan over high heat. Add black mustard seeds, cumin, and hing, and let sputter for a few seconds until the mustard starts to pop. Add shallots, green chillies, and ginger, and stir briskly for 2–3 minutes, until the shallots start take on colour at the edges. 
  2. Add okra and cook for about 3 mins until lightly golden. Add coriander, turmeric, and salt and stir well. If the pan gets too dry, sprinkle 2–3 tbsp water. Turn heat to low, put a lid on the pan, and let steam for about 5 mins.
  3. Turn off heat, add aamchoor and lemon juice, and stir well. Let sit for 10 mins before serving.

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