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Indian-Style Sautéed Okra

The following was adapted from an article by Priyanka Naik of ChefPriyanka.com.

I think okra is an underrated vegetable. There is more to okra than just gumbo! It is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be sautéed, fried, and used in stews.

If you’re looking for a way to incorporate okra into your diet, then this quick-sautéed meal is perfect for you! Most of the ingredients can be found at the local grocery store, and it can be eaten with rice or your favorite bread—I like chapati. Enjoy!

Indian-Style Sautéed Okra
Cooking spray
1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 white onion, chopped into 1/2-in. squares
1 bell pepper (yellow, red, or green), chopped into 1/2-in. squares
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 jalapeño, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
20-25 okra pods, cut into 1/2-in. circles
1 Tbsp. homemade masala powder (recipe below)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
Pinch cumin powder
Salt and coarse black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. sugar
Handful cilantro, washed and finely chopped

  • Spray a medium-size pan or heavyweight pot with cooking spray and pour in the oil. Set over a medium flame. Add the cumin seeds and let cook for about 30 seconds, until they begin to pop and release their fragrance. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until halfway cooked and a bit charred. Add the jalapeño and sauté. Add the okra and sauté for a few minutes—the okra will appear slimy at first, but the “slime” will cook off.
  • Add the masala powder, turmeric, cumin, and salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently so that the okra pods don’t burn.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and sprinkle in the sugar. Sauté until tender and all the sliminess has disappeared. Adjust the seasonings—it should taste spicy but also tangy.
  • Place on a serving dish and top with a generous amount of cilantro. Serve with rice or chapati.

Makes 2 servings

Masala Powder                                                   
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch hing (asafoetida powder), optional, for aroma and smooth flavor
Salt and coarse black pepper, to taste

  • In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. It will be a little moist and chunky. Adjust the seasonings. It should taste very spicy and moderately salty.
  • Store in a zip-lock bag or an airtight container in the fridge.

Makes about 2 tablespoonfuls powder

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