I’ve never been fond of Okra/ Lady’s finger. There are people who rave about it and who have coaxed me into eating what they call ‘my opinion-changing- experience’. It has never been the case until recently, when I chanced upon this recipe in one of the national dailies. The cook in me sensed something delicious and suddenly felt inspired to try this out. I liked it so much that I’ve tried it out twice in the same week, much to the surprise of my family. This is a sweet-hot-sour flavored okra dish and has it’s origins in the Andhra cuisine of India and is called ‘ Bendakaya Gojju’- ‘Bendakaya’ meaning Okra in the Andhra language. It’s very easy to make and goes extremely well with rice and well as chappatis/rotis/ unleavened bread.
• Okra/ ladies finger- 3/4 cup
• Coconut grated – 1 cup
• Onion 1 small chopped
• Jaggery – 1/2 tsp
• Tamarind extract – 1/2 tsp
• Sambar Powder – 2 tsp (available in Indian stores)
• Coriander/ cilantro leaves
• Curry leaves 5-6
• Mustard 1/2 tsp
• Asafetida powder- 1 big pinch
• Heat some oil in a pan and fry onions till golden brown.
• Set it aside to cool. Combine coconut, onion, jaggery, Sambar powder, tamarind and cilantro in a blender and grind it into a smooth paste.
• Heat ghee/oil in a thick bottomed pan.
• Add the mustard, curry leaves.
• Once the mustard stops spluttering add the ground paste/ masala
• Cook the paste for a minute or two and add the chopped okra
• Add salt and cook it till it becomes soft and fragrant.
• Add Asafetida powder and mix well
• Serve hot.
Preparation time : 20 minutes