Okra is also known as lady's finger in India. The okra we get back home is longer (around 10cms) and lighter skinned.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okra) My familiarity with the small okra has been only after I left India.I love okra and I make several different types of dishes with it. But when I want bulk and the recipe has to be quick and easy, I make bhendi/okra pepper fry. The main ingredient that gives its name and flavor is the freshly ground pepper. I use a little more than usual of it in this dish. You can reduce the quantity based on your spice level. I also use lots of onions as it gives bulk to the dish and I like the onions sautéed with pepper.
Okra: 1 lbs
Onions: 3 medium
Black Pepper powder: 1 tbsp freshly ground
Coconut oil: 1tbsp
Salt for taste.
Slice onions lengthwise and keep aside. Partially Chop of the stem of the okra without reaching the flesh of the okra. Now make 2-3 vertical incomplete slits along the length of the okra without slitting it completely.
In a sauté pan/ wok heat oil. Add the sliced onions and sauté on medium flame until the onions start wilting.
Now add the cleaned and slit okra. Reduce the flame and let it cook until okra is tender. Make sure you sauté in between otherwise the onions can get burnt.
Once the okra is tender add freshly ground pepper powder and salt and sauté for 2 mins until it gets coated well.
Serve hot with rice or chapati.
Cooking made easy:
- Do not cover okra and onion while cooking as it leaves water. This will turn the dish into mush.
- Always add salt at the end as addition of salt also makes the onions leave water, again making the dish watery.
- Add a few drops of additional oil if you feel it is too dry and fear burning the dish. Under such circumstances, you could keep the dish covered for few seconds and then again cook it uncovered. This allows you to take advantage of the moisture released by the onions to cook the okra.
Tip for healthy living:
Black pepper is harsh on the mouth but gentle on the stomach.It is supposed to have several health benefits that like aiding in digestion and preventing constipation.It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.It supposedly also helps burn fat.A decoction of pepper and ginger is commonly used as a cure for sore throat and common cold.It definitely clears the sinuses.
Food for thought:
The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even touched- they must be felt with the heart.( Hellen Keller).