This time of year in Texas, okra is in abundance. Okra is an early fall/end-of-summer veggie, and I love it. The texture is my favorite – those lovely little seeds in okra are like little pearls! So, I felt incredibly lucky the other the other weekend when my mom gave me some farm-fresh okra from her CSA.
The funny thing was, I had been craving Bhindi Do Pyaza (okra with onion and spices) from my local Indian restaurant. Instead of placing an order, I decided to cook a dish like it myself. So, I found a recipe for bhindi masala. After reading it, I decided to go for it! However, I did change up the ingredients a bit. I love lots of spices, especially if yogurt is in the dish to cool it down. So, in my recipe, I added cashew milk yogurt. And, I wanted my dinner to make a complete protein, so I also added garbanzo beans. The results were delicious, and I was able to bring the leftovers to lunch the next day.
Here’s the recipe for Indian Okra:
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp mustard seed
2 small onions, chopped (I enjoy a mix of purple and white)
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon ginger
2 cups chopped okra
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1. Add olive oil to a medium pot. When the oil is hot (it shimmers), lower the heat add the cumin and mustard seeds. Stir them around the pot until they become golden brown.
2. Then, add the chopped onions and stir.
3. Once the onion becomes translucent, add the garlic and ginger.
4. Next, add the okra. Let the okra brown before moving on the the next ingredient (this prevents it from becoming too slimy).
5. Add chopped tomato and tomato paste until well incorporated.
6. Then, add the garbanzo beans. NOTE: Make sure you rinse your garbanzo beans so that the icky, salty liquid goes down the drain.
7. Let all your ingredient marry together before adding the ground spice mixture (turmeric thru cardamom, above). The dish will become dry. That’s perfect!
8. Take everything off of the heat, and stir in the cashew yogurt.
9. Serve over brown rice. The meal is complemented well by garlic naan and a crisp, fresh green salad.
The dish is deliciously spicy, and has the perfect balance of acidity from the tomatoes, smokiness from the roasted okra, creaminess from the garbanzos, and coolness from the yogurt. Yum!
Do you enjoy okra? Let me know what you like to make in the comments!
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