Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pan Roasted Whole Okra

Okra is a very tasty vegetable and there are any number of Indian recipes that can be cooked with it. The most problematic part about okra is the slime and that's what puts most people off. The main reason in spite of its good taste the reason I do not like gumbo the only American dish that I know of that uses okra. It is slimy and a lot of times I hear okra is added to a gumbo to thicken it and the slime is what helps thicken it. There are of course other recipes which ask to pre-saute the okra before adding to the gumbo.

Why am I talking so much about gumbo when I am not going to cooking. The reason most Americans do not like okra is because, besides gumbo they are not familiar with other methods of it being cooked. The other common way okra is cooked here is to dredge it in corn meal and deep fry them. Around here in our house we seem to prefer okra roasted well but my method involves chopping them into tiny pieces. The more exposed surfaces the okra has the more slime it ends up with while cooking.

Recently while I was talking with my friend about cooking okra and how long it takes, she shared her method of cooking. Chop the heads off and roast them. The other day when we visited another friend's house for dinner, she roasted it whole. Easy, quick and of course very tasty. She had used Italian spices but I used my trusted sambhar powder ;)

If you like okra but can't be bothered to be cook it this is a perfect recipe for you. Prep is a breeze and cooking is quick with no mess. Remember to wash the okra and dry it out completely.

Pan Roasted Whole Okra
Preparation Time:5 minutes
Cooking Time:20 minutes
  1. 1 lb fresh tender okra
  2. 2-3 tsp of oil
  3. 2 tsp or sambhar powder or red chili powder or black pepper powder
  4. salt to taste

  • Wash the okra and spread it on a kitchen towel to dry it out completely.

  • Cut the the thick top of the okra and if you want you can trip the thin end as well, I leave it be.

  • Heat a cast iron pan or thick flat bottomed pan and heat the oil.

  • When the oil is hot place the okra preferably in a single layer.

  • Toss them around occasionally so they do not stick. In about 10-15 minutes the okra should be roasted.

  • Sprinkle salt and the spices, toss another couple of minutes and it is done.

  • Serve even as an appetizer or as a side.

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