Okra Tomato Curry or Bhindi Masala

Okra. I have always been curious about this strange and odd vegetable. A totally foreign vegetable to me.  It is very common in the southern part of the United States where it is breaded and deep-fried served with ranch dressing. It can be tasty. I have had it in Indian restaurants and honestly, I prefer the Indian preparation method over the breading and deep-frying.

I came across a package of okra at the Food Lion. I could not resist it and purchased it without really giving much thought as to how I was going to prepare it. All I thought it would be perfect to make for Meatless Monday.

The recipe is a straightforward curry. It does have a bit of bite in a good way. You can leave out the red pepper if you think it will be too spicy for you. Be careful of the salt and use it carefully or it will be too salty to truly enjoy. Cooking the okra until the edges are brown prevents the slime, which is very unpleasant when eating okra that is not prepared well. To counter the very strong flavors of Okra Tomato Curry, I would add a creamy dish such as Veggie Korma and some rice or naan bread.

 

Okra Tomato Curry Recipe

 

Okra Tomato Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon squeezable ginger
  • 2.5 cups chopped Okra
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp coriander powder
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Handful chopped cilantro
  • Pinch of garam masala

Preparation

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Add mustard and cumin seeds cooking until they start to pop or change color.
  • Add the onion, chili, garlic, ginger and cook until translucent.
  • Add okra and a small pinch of salt.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until golden on some edges.
  • Stir occasionally. Doing this will allow the edges of okra to dry out a bit will seal in the slime.
  • Add spices, tomato, tomato paste, salt, and water.
  • Cover and cook for 6-10 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust salt and spice.
  • Stir in cilantro.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala then mix well.
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