Okay, first off, if you don't like okra, we might not be able to be friends. Or rather, we might not be able to be dinner companions, because if there is one vegetable I cannot resist, those little green fingers are it. And if you refuse to like okra, that would cause me to question your taste more generally, and then perhaps your value as a person. Which in turn will make me feel judgmental. So lets skip all of that nonsense and just agree that okra is where it's at.
The other night, R brought a 2 pound bag of okra home, because he knows I can't resist the stuff, then asked that I make an Indian recipe with it. This okra curry is what I made. It comes from a no-nonsense book, The Classic 1000 Indian Recipes, absent commentary, absent pictures, absent description, this book really is just a collection of 1000 Indian recipes. But this curry was delicious. The sauce is essentially a paste of onions, garlic, seasonings and yoghurt, all enveloping the okra. While the traditional way might be to grind the onions and garlic to a paste by hand, a food processor is a good, updated choice.
Slightly adopted from Wendy Hobson's The Classic 1000 Indian Recipes
1 pound okra
1/2 cup ghee (clarified butter)
4 onions, cut into large chuncks
6 cloves garlic
salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
2/3 cup plain yoghurt
3 3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
Trim the okra of the skinny end, but you can leave the fat end intact. Heat about half of the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the okra until golden. Remove from the pan and let drain on paper towels. Grind the onions and garlic to a paste in a food processor. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and then add the onion paste. Cook for about one minute, then add the salt, turmeric, garam masala and chili powder. You may need to add a little of the water from time to time to keep it from drying out.
Stir in the yogurt, then add the water and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Add the okra and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. If you pan isn't large enough, you can add the water in batches, taking care to keep the mixture wet enough so that it won't burn.
Serve over rice and with a sprinkling of cilantro on top.