This one has to be the best Okra recipe i have ever had. I used to avoid using this vegetable as i could not get rid of the sticky thing in it while cooking. But then i found this recipe in the book 660 curries written by Raghavan Iyer. I got this book as a gift from my hubby on my birthday and i've never looked back. I've been trying out all the recipes one by one and not one recipe has disappointed me. So look forward for more curry recipes from this book on this blog. The curries are finger licking and i'm glad i'm able to cook such wonderful curries for my family. I recommend all the Indian curries lovers to buy this book.
This curry Bharlele masala bhindi has got the perfect blend of spices and goes wonderfully with Indian flat breads as its little dry. Its got a little more amount of oil but this is what gives the curry a wonderful texture. But you can try reducing the amount of oil a little bit. The red onions give a lovely sweetness and the tomato which is added at the end of the process gives a tiny tang to the curry. So here goes the recipe..
1 pound (454 gms) Fresh Okra, rinsed and thoroughly dried
1/2 cup raw (unroasted) Cashew nuts , ground (powdered)
2 tsps Degi mirch red chilli powder
2 tsps coriander powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 cup canola oil (or vegetable/ sunflower will do)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 small red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
12-15 curry leaves
1 large tomato, cut into 1-inch cubes
Trim the caps off the Okra without cutting into the pods. Then form a small cavity in each okra by cutting a slit down three quarters of the length, making the slit about 1/4 inch deep. Be careful not to cut all the way through the pod. This cavity will hold the stuffing.
Combine the cashews, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and salt in a small bowl, and mix well.
Using your fingers, stuff each okra pod with approximately 1/2 teaspoon of this spice blend. (You can safely stuff the okra a day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.) There shouldn't be any blend left over, but if there is, either sprinkle it over the stuffed okra or save it, stored in a jar or a self-seal plastic bag, on a cool pantry shelf for future use; it will keep for up to 2 months.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cover the skillet, and cook until the seeds have stopped popping (not unlike popcorn), about 30 seconds. Stir in the onion, and add the okra along with the curry leaves. Lower the heat to medium, and roast the mixture, uncovered, occasionally stirring gently, until the onion softens and the now olive-green okra is partially tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the tomato, cover the skillet, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the okra is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Then serve.
* To grind the cashews powder-fine, use a spice grinder or a blender. If some kernels refuse to pulverize, empty some of the ground nuts into a bowl, freeing up space for the blades to do their thing.
* When you rely on the juiciness of a tomato to provide essential moisture to a curry, it had better be perfectly ripe, bursting with sweet succulence- none of those waxy, pale pink specimens that remain firm even after squatting on the kitchen counter for days. If you cant find that just-right tomato, use 1 can(14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, juice and all, instead.