Okra is one of my all time favorite vegetables. No vegetable stall we frequented in India would be without this ubiquitous ancient mallow. In curries, in sambar, and in other assorted sauces with fresh cocunut, okra was just delicious. My mother would make the best dry okra curry with thin slices of okra sauteed in a cast iron wok till they were almost black and crisp.
At my grand parents home okra patchadi was a special dish. There were two quite different variations; with a coconut and yoghurt dressing for festive occasions and in a ginger tamarind sauce (puli patchadi) for family dinners. I still remember having it along side rice with yoghurt or buttermilk. Yum. childhood memories.
Spicy Okra Tamarind Stew
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 25 minutes
- Yield : 6 - 8
- canola and sesame oil blend - 4 tbsp
- Black mustard seed - 1 tsp
- cumin seeds - 1 tsp
- split urad dal - 1 tsp
- Crushed chili pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
- coarse chilli powder - 1/2 tsp. or to taste
- Ground turmeric - 1/4 tsp
- fenugreek seeds roasted and ground - 1/2 tsp
- Asafetida (hing) powder - 1/4 tsp
- Okra cut in 1/2 inch pieces - 2 cups
- chopped ripe tomato - 1
- Tamarind fruit (cleaned) - 1/2 cup
- Jaggery shavings - 2 tbsp
- Curry Leaves minced - 6 - 10
- minced coriander stalks - 1/4 cup
- peanuts - 1/4 cup
- Chana Dal Rinsed - 1 tbsp
- Salt - to taste
- Fresh Ginger ( tender) minced - 2 tbsp
- fresh green chillies minced - 2 tbsp
- Soak the tamarind in warm water and remove any seeds and fibers and grind in a blender to make about 3 cups of pulp and water.
- Dry roast 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds till they turn dark brown and grind them to a coarse powder in a pestle. I usually make 3 tbsp and save the excess in an air tight jar.
- Heat the oil is a large deep skillet and temper the mustard seeds and add the cumin and urad and chilli flakes. Now add the chana dal and peanuts and salute for a minute. Add the asafetida and other powders and add the okra.
- Saute the okra over medium heat for a few minutes and sprinkle some salt. Stir gently until it starts to turn golden. Add the ginger, chillies, coriander and curry leaves and stir for a minute
- Add the tamarind pulp and bring to simmer and add the chopped tomatoes and jaggery.
- Add a bit of water if needed to have the liquid lever just below the okra line.
- Cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes
- Add salt as needed