TBS Mart
7836 Portland Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I bought a bag of okra at the farmers market and wanted to learn how to make one of my favorite dishes, Bhindi Masala, a spicy Indian okra curry.

Pictured below are the mango powder and asafetida.  Until now, I have hesitantly dabbled in learning how to cook my own Indian food.  A few years ago, I took a wonderful cooking class at the Indian Foods Company which began my process of becoming less intimidated about making my favorite Indian foods.  What primarily intimidated me was amassing a collection of spices I have never used.  Now that I’ve collected some frequently used spices, I am less intimidated to cook Indian food and gradually collect additional spices.

I have never cooked okra before and was slightly worried if the dish would become slimy.   I imagined an oozy mess, similar to what occured when I cleaned and cut nopoles for the first time.  I followed the advice of some online research and let the okra to completely dry before cutting.  There was hardly any sliminess as I prepared the okra and there was none in my finished product.  I love okra’s natural sweetness that remains present, despite the intense spices.

I adapted this recipe from an article about Lygia Waters who adapted a recipe from Manjula’s Kitchen.

-About 1/2 pound of okra.  Wash, let completely dry.  Trim both ends, cut “hot dog” style, and cut into smaller pieces if okra are large.
-A couple dollops of ghee
-Pinch of asafetida
-1/2 teaspoon of cumin seed
-1 Tablespoon of coriander powder
-1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
-1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
-1/2 teaspoon of mango powder
-1/2 teaspoon of salt

-In a preheated pan, saute the cumin seeds and asafetida.  The pan is hot enough when the cumin seeds crackle.

-Add the okra and stir for a few minutes.

-Add the coriander, cayenne and turmeric and stir.

-Cover the pan and steam for another few minutes until the okra is tender.

-Lastly, add the salt and mango powder.  Stir for about a minute and serve.  Adding the salt last to avoid sliminess.

**The okra took less time to cook than I thought. Keep tasting throughout the process if you want your okra to have a more firm bite.  Either way, the flavor will be delicious.  

I served this okra alongside store bought naan, (I brushed with ghee and heated in the oven at 350 degrees), raita, and mango chutney.