After a long time, I visited my local farmers Market. The market was crowded! Great, more and more people get out early from the bed to take a stroll over the weekend. Probably the weather is so far perfect not too cold or hot.
Our Farmers Market is opened year around in Sunday. The diversity of crops shows the different culture and ethnic background. We are at the beginning of Harvest season, I was quiet amazed seeing so many Asian varieties particularly Indian one, from bitter gourd, snake gourd, cluster beans, broad bean, gongura (sorel leaves), methi, okra, well you name it! After all, this market is well known for the Asian variety of vegetables in Bay.
One of the veggie which captured my attention is of course: Purple Okra. I have never seen or heard before in my life. They were slim, long and tender no wonder it is called as “ladies finger”in India. I snapped right away a piece to taste it! That is the cool part in Farmers market. The taste was same like the Green okra; just the color is spooky for the season- I guess. But the purple color turns green when it gets cooked!
Okra appeared weekly in the menu when I was a child. Stating it was a great booster for “brain development” and you become brilliant in Math. I am not sure how far is truth! Probably, that would be our elders trick to make us eat that mushy veggie with ease! If you hate okra reconsider your thought once again and try once more!
Note: Never use any water, if needed cover the pan.
Don’t mix often while cooking.
Keep the stove in medium heat.
Selecting okra: I don’t recommend snapping the tail. If you do please use the bin to throw it ( that would be fair). Just look for okra which looks like your finger (slim & tender).
Okra curry without tomato: is slightly dry curry – they are crisp and spicy.
Purple or Green Okra/vendakkai: 1 lb (1/2 kg)
Onion: ½ diced finely
Curry leaves: few
Chilli powder: 1 to 1½ tsp
Turmeric: a pinch
Salt: as required (approx. 1 tsp)
Oil: 2 tsp
Coconut: 2 tsp- scraped
Seasoning: Oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Split urad dhal: 1 tsp
Cleaning: rinse the okra under the tap water. Wipe the okra with a clean kitchen towel and cut into ½ inch size.
Now take a broad pan add the 2 tsp oil, add the okra, sprinkle little salt and let it cook in medium heat. Don’t disturb often, when they turn slightly brown, remove it. (If you use purple- when they turn green remove it) In the same pan, start the seasoning, oil, mustard and urad dhal, when they split. Add the diced onion and curry leaves. When the onion turns translucent add the sauté okra, sprinkle the chilli and turmeric powder. Let it cook in medium heat approx. 8 to 10 min without covering if possible. I like the okra slightly crunchy so I never cook longer in stove. Check for salt and sprinkle the scraped coconut and switch off the stove, serve as a side dish for rice.
Okra curry with tomato: Great for chapatti and rice, the taste is different (slightly tangy) - if you are trying first time okra- I encourage you without tomato!
I used green okra for this curry!
Follow the same above recipe; add one big diced tomato after the onion is cooked. When the tomato leaves the oil in pan, add the okra.The rest is same as above recipe.