I am a huge fan of okra. This wasn’t always the case because they can become a huge sticky mess and taste awful! The trick is to make sure they are washed and dried carefully with a teatowel so there is no trace of water when you cut them. The water meets the inside and then you’ve lost them!
I’ve adapted this recipe from Mr Todiwala’s Bombay. I have added a little extra of the coriander seeds and cumin seeds, garlic and a tarka with curry leaves. A tarka is simply oil heated with spices to release their flavours.
- 100g dessicated coconut or fresh if you have it.
- 30 okra
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 large green chillies
- a few tablespoons fresh coriander – about half a bunch
- 1 large clove of garlic
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp chaat masala – you can buy this in larger supermarket outlets
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Plain thick yoghurt and a few salad leaves to serve
To make THEM
- Prework – You will need to soak the dessicated coconut in boiling water for about 40 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 160C
- Wash and dry the okra. They must be completely dry to wash well in advance or use a teatowel to carefully dry each one. painful I know but it works so you do not have a sticky mess.
- Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan and then crush coarsely in a pestle and mortar.
- Chop the garlic, green chillies and coriander finely.
- Drain the dessicated coconut and then add the toasted spices, chopped chillies and coriander and salt.
- Give this a mix til it is well combined.
- Slit each okra lengthways down the middle and then season with the turmeric. Literally just take a pinch and coat the insides.
- Then stuff each one plentifully with the coconut mixture.
- Prepare a roasting tin that will fit all your okra side by side.
- For the tarka heat the oil in a small saucepan and then when it’s hot, quickly add the curry leaves and mustard seeds and then leave them to crackle for a few seconds. You are really just opening up the flavours.
- Quickly pour this into the roasting tin and then place the okra on top covering lightly with the oil. Be careful. Oil will be hot.
- Cover this with foil and bake for about 15 minutes and then take the foil off to leave the okra to brown slightly on the top.
I had this with a few green salad leaves, some plain yoghurt and a glass of wine. Perfect light supper.