Tuesday, February 27, 2007


This was our lunch today, accompanied by red lentil dhal and a salad of cucumber, tomato and onion. Decadent!


This lovely recipe was inspired by one by Madhur Jaffrey - and its origin is of course Indian. The serving size of this dish is easily adjustable, and you can of course play with the spices a bit. This recipe served the two of us generously, and, if doubled or trippled, would keep nicely in the refrigerator for leftovers. It uses garlic but no onion. NOTE: If you prefer your cooking non-fat, omit the oil (I do) and simply throw everything in together - it works just fine, believe it or not!

For Two Persons:

2 Tbsp chopped ginger root
2-3 cloves garlic
t tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne or more (to taste)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (or as little as you can get away with) - can be omitted, as per note above.
1/4 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
5 oz (80 g) fresh okra/bindi/ladyfingers, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch diagonal slices
1 - 5 oz red potato (80 g) - boiled - in 1-in. cubes
2 or 3 canned tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 - 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup coriander leaves / cilantro, chopped, for serving
water as per instructions below

Boil the potato, assemble the spices, trim and slice the okra/bindi. Put the ginger and garlic into a small blender container with a Tbsp of water and blend into a paste, add the next four spices and mix well in a small bowl and reserve.

Select a skillet that will hold all ingredients and add the cooking oil over medium-high heat, then add the mustard and cumin seeds. The mustard seeds will quickly start to pop (stand back!), so turn down the heat to medium-low and add that spice paste you have made (previous paragraph). Give it a quick stir for a few seconds then add the potatoes, okra, tomatoes, salt, lemonjuice, sugar and 1/4 cup water (or a tad more, stirring well to coat all ingredients in the flavours. When the mixture starts to simmer, immediately turn the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes on low. Test the okra for tenderness (it should not be overcooked) and stir again. The dish will be moist but not runny, the potatoes having thickened the sauce and all the spices, tomatoes, etc., will have coated the vegetables.

Serve hot, garnished with the chopped coriander leaves / cilantro, with basmati rice (we use brown), dhal, and perhaps a small salad / kachumbar dish.

Looks great - good enough to eat - and tastes heavenly.

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