wayfarer in the kitchen

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Okra Dry Fry

Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
I'm having a hard time letting this recipe out into the world. It's my secret weapon. ;-)

This is the rare dish that my husband says i make better than his mom so that is a huge compliment because his mom's cooking is very good and i learned much of my indian/hyderabadi/pakistani cooking from her. This recipe i didn't.

I have no idea for measurements cause i just eyeball it so this is going to be a hard one. And trust me on the yoghurt - that is what throws people off when i tell them this recipe and they don't put it in there and it doesn't taste the same. It's my secret ingredient.

And when you shop for okra, look for the tender little ones. It should roll easily between your fingers and have some give. If it's hard, it's not as good.

(Be sure to wash the okra first and make sure it's dry before cooking, otherwise it'll be slimy. I wash mine as soon as i get home from the grocery store and then drain it on a few paper towels or a tea towel and then i spread it out and let it finish air drying. To store, put in the fridge in a bag and put a paper towel to absorb moisture.)

Okay, off to the best okra recipe ever -

1 lb Okra - i'm guessing a pound - about three full handfuls
1 medium to large onion
1-2 garlic cloves
2-4 small green chilis
2 small plum tomatos or 1 big regular tomato
chili powder to taste (i use about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half)
1 cup of yogurt
cumin seeds/zeera (again, what you like..i use about a teaspoon and a half to a tablespoon depending on my mood)
1 teaspoon turmeric/haldi
salt to taste (about a teaspoon)
vegetable oil (for cooking, i start with 1 tablespoon and add if/as needed)

Chop and crush garlic cloves, chop onion, slit green onions and pull out the spine and seeds (unless you want the extra heat since that is where the heat is). Dice tomatos into chunks.

You can start carmelizing the onions now if you are a fast chopper, otherwise, chop okra now too. Chop the top off and the bottom if it's brown. Slice into little pieces like my picture.

Put the oil in the pot (use a big skillet or a wok/karahi). Carmelize onions (fry until medium to dark brown so they sort of melt away later). When brown, add garlic and let cook for a minute. Now add the okra, tomatos, and green chilis. Fry on high heat about five to seven minutes and keep stirring them so they don't burn. They should crust up just a little bit on the outside. When the five to seven minutes is up add salt, turmeric, and zeera. Blend it all and add a cup of yoghurt - i sometimes do a cup and a half. It all depends on the amount of okra though. Turn the heat down to low or low medium, 2 and a half on my stove. Cook and stir until the yoghurt disapears and then sprinkle the chili powder on top. Mix in and remove from heat.

It's good the first day but be sure to make enough for leftovers because it's so much better the next days. I make a big batch and seperate into small containers and put it in the freezer so i don't have to make it every time. It's delcious later on.



Anonymous Zack said...

I am going to try this one.

8:11 AM  
Blogger wayfarer said...

I think you've had it here before... Didn't you? Hope you like it! Let me know how it turns out. :-)

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Zack said...

Yeah, I think we had it at your place. Let's see how it turns out when I cook it.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Surviving said...

I haven't had any okra in awhile. I have only made bamia with it in the past. I've never tried using the fresh okra either, usually the ones I see are the big ones and they just aren't as good. In the past I just bought the small frozen ones in the middle eastern stores and boiled it in vinegar and water to get rid of the slimey taste. Next time I make a trip to the grocery store I will look and see if I can find some fresh smaller sized ones.

12:50 AM  
Blogger wayfarer said...

Let me know how it turns out Zack. Surviving...do try this one. It's gooooooood!

8:59 AM  
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2:40 PM  
Blogger Zainab said...

What about using a dried okra? In my country this is the only kind I can get. They sell it here in the middle-eastern shops like a necklase, on a string. Would it be cooked the same way?

5:11 AM  
Blogger wayfarer said...

Hmm, i've never seen that before. If it's dried like hard i would probably soak it to moisten it up since it's a dry fry and not a lot of moisture is going in there.

I just looked at a few websites and read you can use dried okra for coffee or meat broth etc. I'm going to have to look for some now!

Here is one websites instructions for using dried okra:

To 1 cup dried okra

Add 3 cups of water
Soak for a minimum of 1/2 hour


7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Super color scheme, I like it! Good job. Go on.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks nice! Awesome content. Good job guys.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:35 PM  
Blogger luckyfatima said...

mmmm this looks REALLY good.

Gonna try it next time I do okra :)

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Taiba said...

I made this today and it's turned out really good, tkanks for sharing the recipe. Although mine doesn't look like your's in the picture it still tastes good. Next time around I'll put in a little less yoghurt(the kind we get here has alot of water) and will also use less turmeric, ours in very yellow.

11:18 PM  
Blogger wayfarer said...

Glad you liked it!

5:59 AM  

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