We are international food fiends! We love curries from all countries and I especially have a warm and spicy place in my heart for Indian fare.
The first time I ever tried okra was at an Indian restaurant. I loved it instantly. I have yet to tried pickled okra or deep-fried okra, but baby, one day … one day.
The dish we tried in the Indian restaurant was called Bhindi Masala. Using my “extensive” knowledge in making Chana Masala (Chickpea Masala) I figured I could do the same, or similar, with okra. I was pretty much correct, though a few adjustments each time I tried this recipe just kept making it better and better.
I have a difficult time finding fresh okra in Saskatoon during the winter – well year-round to be honest. Luckily for me, the Asian market I have become obsessed with of late carries fresh okra in 1-lb bags, ready for me to masala-ize into tasty oblivion.
I have a couple types of masala seasoning that I buy from the Indian spice aisle and market. Haters gonna hate. The reason I buy these seasoning mixes? Because I dare you to try to find dried mango or pomegranate seeds pulverized into a mixture of other more common spices in this city of Saskatoon, affectionately named the “Perogy Belt” of Canada.
Also, it’s easy. One of these days I’ll grind my own artisan masalas and seasoning blends but for right now, just let me off easy, okay?
Just noticed something hilarious on the back of my store-bought seasoning mix. It reads “(NOT CURRY POWDER)”, for all of you who think all Indian food is curry … think again. LOL.
Bhindi Masala (Okra Masala)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 lbs okra, trimmed and sliced
- 2 – 3 fresh tomatoes, diced or 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 0nion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 – 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 Tbsp Chana Masala seasoning powder
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add okra, onions, garlic, ginger and jalepeno. Saute for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, seasoning, and salt. Stir to combine. If using fresh tomatoes, you may need to add just a bit of water to make the consistency more saucy. If using canned diced tomatoes you shouldn’t need additional water. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until sauce begins to reduce and thicken slightly. Remove from heat and stir in fresh cilantro.
Oh and did I mention, this is completely vegan? Yes, I know I’ve neglected my vegan recipes of late. Still love me?