Okra or lady-fingers as some people know it, is definitely not the nicest thing to prepare. It is a little slimy but I don’t think enough to make you go squeamish. Okra must be washed and wiped properly with some paper towels, then left to air dry for a short while. I usually cut them up and place them on some paper towel to dry out a bit. This recipe is a simple one where I cook the Okra with Chilli and Garlic.
Once cooked it is delicious, it has a crisp, nutty flavour, provided that you cook it perfectly. Okra needs to be sautéed just until it’s cooked, if you overcook it then it can be mushy. The sliminess of the okra also disappears when cooked. My boys are definitely not ready to even try okra, maybe they will when they get older. Much like me, I only started enjoying food that was good for me much later in my life. Now I can empathise with my mum, for all the hell I gave her. She always says “it’s payback time” when my boys give me the hell I gave her.
We usually eat the sautéed Okra with Chilli and Garlic with dal. You can try my Dal recipe to go with, but you can also have it as an accompaniment to a meat dish. There are a few different ways to cook Okra, I haven’t been really adventurous with it because I never know if it will work for my fussy husband. This Sauteed Okra is guaranteed to be eaten so I’m sticking with this recipe for now. Okra is really healthy so no excuses for not eating more of it, it has potassium, vitamin B, vitamin C, folic acid and calcium and low in calories too. So here’s a few good reasons to be enjoying more Okra dishes. I hope I can soon find a way to get my boys to eat it too.
Okra with Chilli and Garlic
- 150 gram okra cut into small pieces
- 1 medium onion finely sliced
- 2 green chillies
- 1 small tomato or half a tomato blanched and grated - see note 1
- 1/4 tspn turmeric
- 1 small garlic clove finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Wash the okra, wipe it properly with a paper towel. Cut it and place on a paper towel to air dry for 15 minutes
- Heat oil in a flat pan or pot, you need enough space to spread out the okra. Add the onion and fry until slightly brown.
- Add the chilli and garlic and fry for a minute.
- Add the turmeric and okra. Season with salt. Mix well and sauté on low heat. Do not cover the pan.
- After 10 minutes add the grated tomato. Mix gently and cook further until okra is soft and just a little caramelised.
- Tomatoes can be blanched by soaking them for a few minutes in boiling water. Remove them and plunge them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Remove the skin and grate or blend them into a puree