It was long pending - me making an okra curry. Then, out of the blue, it happened last week. Having just returned from Mustafa ( a multi storey shopping mall in Singapore where you can find Indian food stuffs and practically everything else under the sun!), my fridge was overstocked with fresh okras which I had to unload in a curry. The timing was perfect...my fridge being stocked with okras and my long awaited want to whip up an okra curry. Didn't I say there is a time for everything? :)
It turned out delicious. My older daughter Ranya's comment was 'Mom, you can actually make and sell this curry!" :)
The base of this curry is very well balanced with the tomatoes and the spices blending very nicely. One can even substitute the okras with paneer and bell pepper cubes for an even delectable dish. Goes well with chapathis, pooris or even steamed rice. I made a simple vegetable lentil rice that day to accompany this curry. Here is how it went :
Ingredients for Tomato Paste to be blended
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 inch ginger
3 garlic cloves
1 green chilli
2 tbsp yoghurt (less if you prefer less sour)
250gm okra pods
2 tbsp canola oil
1 bay leaf
1 big onion / 2 medium onions chopped finely
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp crushed fenugreek leaves (optional)
2 tbsp coriander leaves
1) Wash and cut the okra pods into 1.5 inch pieces. Lightly shallow fry them with a little bit of oil till it is brown on all sides.
2) Blend the ingredients of the tomato paste to a smooth texture.
3)Heat 2 tbsp of canola oil in a medium pot and then fry the bayleaf for about 5-7 secs. Add the finely chopped onions.
4) Lower the flame and add all the spice powders and salt. Let the spices cook for a while in the oil.
5) Add the tomato yoghurt paste and cook on low heat till you see oil forming on the sides of the gravy.
6) Add 1 cup water and stir well. If you prefer a thinner curry, you can add more water (not more than 2 cups in total).
7) At this point, add the shallow fried okra pieces and cook for another 5 mins on medium heat.
8) After 5 mins, the gravy would have thickened and it would look like this. (it already looks yummy at this point isnt it?) Add 1/2 tsp fenugreek leaves (if using) and serve garnished with coriander leaves.