the wonderful world of veena.

09 November 2014

because stuffed okra is in high demand right now.

[today's lunch: stuffed okra]
I posted the above photo on Instagram and Facebook a little over an hour ago, and I have since received 6 requests for a recipe. Since the recipe lives mostly in my mother's head, I decided to have her dictate it to me so I could share it on here. It's a little time-intensive, and it involves a lot of stuff you'll mostly only find in an Indian household, but it is definitely something everyone should try. Also, my mother wanted to stress that you should come to her house for a demonstration. And she's an Indian mother, so she's serious.

Step One:
rinse your okra [we don't actually weigh how much we get, but we are estimating it's about a 1/2 pound. fyi if you live in close proximity to an Indian grocery store, go there for your okra -- it's often fresher] and pat it dry. we like to do this the night before we cook it so it gets fully dry and isn't sticky.

Step Two:
cut the ends off the okra and then slit them down the middle so you can stuff them later.

Step Three:
in a medium-size mixing bowl, gather the following*:
1/2 cup gram/chickpea flour [possible substitutes, if you can't get your hands on any]
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tsp red chilly powder [can add more if you want it spicier]
2 tsp cumin powder
3-4 tsp coriander powder
1.5 tsp sesame seeds
salt to taste
1/2 cup minced onions
1 inch grated ginger
5 cloves minced garlic
2 minced green chillies [more if you want to add spice]
1/4 cup minced coriander leaves [cilantro]
4 sprinkles lemon juice

*my mother and I don't really use measurements when we cook, we pretty much just use our hands, so these are all estimates. sorry!

Step Four:
mix the above ingredients by hand, adding oil as needed to achieve the desired texture [not quite a paste. I know I'm being super helpful right now]

Step Five:
stuff the okra with the masala mixture.

Step Six:
heat oil in a skillet and add okra when the oil is warm. cover partially and cook on medium-low, stirring occasionally. takes about 20-25 minutes to cook.

Step Seven:
garnish with more minced coriander, serve, and enjoy!

The stuffing takes some time to get ready, but once you've got the okra stuffed, it's smooth sailing after that. We like to eat ours with parathas, but it's good with just about anything -- rice, chapatti, naan, bread, etc.

If any of you actually decide to try this at home, please let me know! My mother will get such a kick out of it.

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