okra

favourite rasam recipe – three ways

22nd August 2018

This is a recipe I fall back on as a twice or thrice weekly meal. It is the same recipe, same measurement of spices, using a variety of different dal and vegetables. The first two recipes include grinding the coconut-rasam mixture, while the third does not, making it a quicker dish to prepare. It’s a good example of how one recipe can be used in many variations to give a totally different dish.

In these three recipes, I alternate between using mung beans(whole moong dal)toor dal and split yellow moong dal. The rasam powder can be replaced with sambar powder in all dishes.

whole mung beans with tomatoes & chard

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

ingredients 

½ cup/100g mung beans(whole moong dal)

4 cups water/1-litre

1 medium tomato(100g), finely chopped

1 cup/50g tightly packed chard leaves (can use kale/fenugreek)

2 heaped Tbsp brown sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

sambar-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 4 cups water into the saucepan and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer.

2.  After 10 minutes, add the tomatoes – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes. 

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the dried coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, then add to dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, heat the ghee, add mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the curry leaves, asafoetida and turmeric powder, swishing the pan around for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, add salt, jaggery and stir in the chopped chard leaves.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavours to settle, the chard to soften and dal to thicken slightly.  Taste adding more sweet, tamarind or salt.

Serve with rice, yoghurt and drizzle with a spoon of ghee.

split moong dal with charred okra & fenugreek

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This dish requires frying the vegetables, in this case, the okra, in the voggarane until nicely charred, then stirring it through the cooked dal when ready to serve. I like to keep 1 cup of the okra aside to use as garnish. This method of cooking works very nicely with green beans as well.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g split yellow moong dal

3 cups/750ml water

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

rasam-coconut mix

¼ cup/20g dried shredded unsweetened coconut

1½ heaped tsp rasam powder (moderately spiced)

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

1½ cups/375ml water

voggarane 

3 Tbsp peanut oil

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

1 heaped Tbsp channa dal

1 heaped tsp urad dal

400g okra

15 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

⅛ heaped tsp turmeric powder

2 cups fresh fenugreek/kale/ coriander leaves – chopped

preparation

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash the dal until the water runs clear, drain, pour in 3 cups water and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer – simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

2. Top, tail the okra and cut into 1 cm pieces and measure out the remaining ingredients – set aside.

prepare the rasam-coconut mix

3.  In an upright blender, add the rasam powder, tamarind, dried coconut and ¾ cup water, blend for 1 minute, until smooth, add to the dal rinsing the blender clean with the remaining ¾ cup water.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal, fry until both dals are golden-brown.

5.  Add the okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges – approximately 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and fold in the chopped fenugreek leaves.

6.  Set aside 1 cup of the cooked okra for garnishing and stir the remaining into the dal.  Taste adding more sweet, sour or salt.

This dish is best served immediately as the okra can become gooey, otherwise, keep the okra and dal separate until ready to serve. Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

toor dal with carrots and green beans

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 – 4

This is the same procedure, using a different dal and vegetables, however, the rasam and coconut are added directly into the dish, no grinding required.

ingredients 

½ cup/100g toor dal 

cups /1-litre water

1 medium/100g carrot – finely chopped

1½ cups finely chopped beans (can use cabbage in Winter)

¼ cup/20g dried shredded coconut

1 ½ heaped tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced) 

½ – 1 tsp tamarind paste 

2 heaped Tbsp sugar/jaggery

1 heaped tsp rock salt

¼ cup coriander leaves, chopped

voggarane 

2 tsp ghee

½ heaped tsp black mustard seeds

10 fresh curry leaves

⅛ heaped tsp asafoetida powder 

heaped tsp turmeric powder

preparation 

1.  In a heavy-based saucepan, wash dal until the water runs clear, drain, then pour in 4 cups water, bring to boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a rapid simmer. 

2.  After 10 minutes, add the carrot and green beans, simmer until dal is soft and has broken down – approximately 30 minutes.

3.  Stir in the coconut, rasam powder, tamarind, salt and jaggery, mix to combine well – simmer for 4 -5 minutes.

prepare the voggarane 

4.  In a small pan over medium heat, add the ghee and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric, swishing the pan for the spices to fry evenly.

5.  Pour the voggarane into the dal, and stir in the coriander.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes for the flavours to settle and dal to thicken slightly.  Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee.

okra & fresh fenugreek palya

5th May 2018

Growing fenugreek (methi) in the garden or in a pot on a balcony is one of the easiest things to grow. The seeds miraculously start to pop up in 3 -5 days and in 4 weeks the fenugreek is ready to harvest.

Fenugreek grows well in spring to early autumn, especially when the soil is warm. It can be grown in full sun or part shade. The fenugreek can be grown in the soil directly or in a pot. I stagger my planting both in a pot and in the soil every 2 – 3 weeks for a constant supply.

To plant, prepare the ground with some compost and well-rotted manure mixed into the soil. You can buy the seeds from the sprouting section in the health food store or as I do, buy from your local Indian store, the seeds grow very well. I sprinkle the seeds directly in the soil, however, you can sow in straight line trenches and cover with soil. The fenugreek seeds don’t need to be evenly spaced apart like other plants in order to grow. The seeds also don’t need to be buried deep in the soil, so a scattering of soil on top to cover the seeds are all it needs. Keep the soil moist and within in 3 – 5 days little buds will appear.

I start harvesting around 4 weeks when the plant is about 6-inches high. To harvest cut the plant with a pair of scissors a few centimetres at the stem above the soil. This will encourage new growth enabling you to get a new crop in 2 – 3 weeks.

To harvest your own seeds, wait for the pods to turn yellow before harvesting.

~fenugreek~

okra & fresh fenugreek palya

ingredients

2 Tbsp peanut oil/coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp channa dal

1 tsp urad dal

500g okra/ladyfinger

3 tightly packed cups chopped fresh fenugreek

½ cup/40g dried unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

½ tsp fine rock salt

to serve

simple everyday dal

rice or chapati

preparation

1.  Cut the tops off the okra and cut into uniformed 1 cm pieces. Wash the fenugreek leaves, pat dry and roughly chop. Set aside.

2.  In a large wok or skillet over high heat, add the peanut oil and mustard seeds; when the seeds turn grey and pop, add the channa and urad dal, fry, stirring constantly until both dals are golden-brown, a minute or so.

3.  Add the chopped okra and keep everything moving in the pan until all the okra starts to char around the edges, approximately 5 minutes.

4.  Turn off the heat and fold in the fresh fenugreek leaves, leaving the pan on the stove to continue to cook even though the fire is off.

5.  Once the fenugreek is wilted, stir in the coconut, add salt and jaggery and mix well.

This dish is best eaten immediately with chapati, rice and accompanied by a simple dal.

Jonathan’s weekend upma

22nd April 2015

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My husband has a few signature dishes, the most favoured is his pasta sauce, Indian lemon rice and this one, which he makes for us every Saturday morning.

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Jonathan’s weekend upma with charred okra

Serves 2-3

This is a savoury semolina pilaf.  Cut the vegetables into small uniformed pieces, so they cook evenly and vary your choice of vegetables to what is in season.

ingredients 

1 cup/170g medium-ground semolina

2½ cups hot water

voggarane

cup/80ml peanut or coconut oil

½ tsp mustard seed

1 Tbsp split channa dāl 

1 tsp split urad dāl

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

10 cashew/peanuts, cut in half

1 dried red chilli, chopped

1 tsp cumin seed

10 curry leaves

⅛ tsp turmeric powder

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

1 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped 

1 tsp ginger, finely chopped 

1 tsp salt

1 tsp jaggery

1 tsp lemon juice

¼ cup/20g dried coconut

¼ cup coriander, chopped

toast the semolina 

1.  Dry-fry the semolina in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring continuously until it turns golden- brown or emits a good smell – pour into a bowl and set aside.

prepare the voggarane

2.  Heat oil in a medium-large skillet, add mustard seed, channa and urad dāl, asafoetida, cashew and chilli; when mustard seeds pop and both dāl are golden-brown, add cumin, curry leaves and turmeric – fry for 10 secs.

3.  Stir in the carrot, green pepper, ginger, salt, sugar, lemon juice and coconut -bring to boil, simmer for 1 minute, then reduce heat.

4.  Pour in the semolina, stirring continuously – until the water has evaporated, 1 – 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the coriander, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  When ready, fluff up with a fork and add more salt if desired. When serving, drizzle with ghee to aid digestion.

charred okra

ingredients

300g small okra

2 Tbsp coconut/peanut oil

pinch asafoetida powder

a sprinkling of salt

preparation

1.  Using a small knife, trim the okra, removing the stem, slicing in half lengthwise and half again.

2.  Place a heavy-based frying pan on high and leave to heat for a few minutes; once hot, drizzle in a tiny bit of oil/ghee and asafoetida, add the okra, stirring every minute.  The okra should start to have dark blisters and a charred look – cook for 5 minutes until charred and soft.

3.  Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately over the upma.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

Prepared by Jonathan

okra palya

21st October 2013

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Enjoying the last of Summer’s okra!

okra palya

Serves 4, as a side dish

Recipe from ‘Mysore Style Cooking’ by V. Sandhya

ingredients 

500 grams fresh okra (lady’s finger)

1 tsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

1 Tbsp oil/ghee

½ tsp black mustard seeds

 tsp asafoetida powder (hingu)

1 large tomato, finely chopped

¼ tsp chilli powder/flakes

¼ tsp coriander powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp jaggery/brown sugar

salt to taste

1 Tbsp dried shredded coconut

preparation 

1.  Rinse the channa and urad dal, then cover with water and soak for 1 hour – drain and set aside.

2.  Wash and pat dry the okra with a cloth, the chop into 1 cm pieces – set aside.

3.  Heat the oil/ghee in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet over medium heat, add the mustard seeds; when they start to splutter, add the channa and urad dal, stir and fry until the dal turns golden-brown, then add the asafoetida powder.

4. Add the okra, turn the heat to high and mix well – fry for 10 mins, stirring constantly to prevent the okra from burning or becoming soggy.  I try to get the okra charred a little on the edges.

5.  Turn off the heat, add the tomato, red chilli, coriander powder, turmeric, jaggery, salt to taste and coconut.

Serve with chapati or dosa, rice or quinoa and a simple dal.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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