Okra’s in season! Cooks use a variety of tricks to avoid okra turning slimy or gooey during cooking like roasting/baking or stir frying quickly over high heat. Sometimes the texture is used to the cook’s advantage as a stew thickener, as in gumbo or other similar main dishes like callaloo (Caribbean), quimbombo guisado (Cuba, Puerto Rico), frango com quiabo (Brazil), and so on. Here, the acidic medium of tomato is used to create a pleasant texture, inspired by Indian curried okra, a dish known as bhindi masala.
Type of dish: Side Dish
Equipment: Pot or pan with lid
Servings: Makes 2 servings.
- 1/2 pound okra
- 2 TB ghee or traditional fat of choice
- half a large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 TB minced ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/4 freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 cup pureed tomato
- optional chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- Wash the okra and pat very dry with a cloth or paper towel. Cut off the stem and then slice into 1/2 inch long pieces.
- Heat the oil in a pot or pan over medium-low to medium heat, and add the onion. Cook until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a few minutes more.
- Put in the okra, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Stir well to coat the okra with the spices.
- Add the tomato puree and stir well. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, check the pan, and if the sauce is too liquid, uncover pan for the last 10 minutes. If, after the first 10 minutes, it’s too dry, add some bone broth or additional tomato puree. If it’s just right, stir and cover again and continue cooking for the final 10 minutes.
- Taste the okra to check for doneness and give it extra cooking time if necessary. It may need an extra 5 minutes or so.
- Sprinkle with fresh, chopped cilantro if desired, and serve.