Okra! Okra!

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Last week I had the opportunity to attend a sit down dinner at The Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. Entree choices were steak, salmon and vegetarian.  I was so excited to see what the vegetarian plate would be. It revealed a spicy, exotic vegetarian Wellington served with a ” spiced tomato bhaji with okra”!! The Wellington turned out to be cabbage, sautéed with curry powder encased in a soggy dough. The tomato bhaji were big chunks of tomatoes and okra with a touch of nigella seeds, mustard and cumin . All this sat in a pool of a green sauce that was tasteless.

The event was inspiring but the food experience for me was sad ! Is it just my taste buds? Was it wrong for me to expect that the vegetarian plate would be tasty. Steak, salmon and dough encased cabbage? Sorry, it seems to me that vegetarians were considered second class!

Anyway, I found some lovely baby okra at the farmer market and decided to get over the “tomato bhaji with okra” served at the Ritz!

1 pound Okra   4 cups approximately, whole or cut into 1 inch pieces

1 onion yellow medium, sliced thin

1 tomato, medium, diced 1/4 inch size

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/4 teaspoon amchur( dry mango powder ) optional

salt to taste

2 – 3 tablespoons oil, olive, peanut, or coconut

  1. Heat a heavy bottomed sauté pan . Add oil.
  2. Add the onions and sauté for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the okra and cook gently on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Okra should be half cooked.
  4. Add the turmeric, amchur, salt and tomatoes.
  5. Stir well so that the spices are evenly coating the vegetables.
  6. Cook another 5-7 minutes till the okra is tender.

Serve hot as a side dish!

 

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