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Friday, February 25, 2011

Okra Salad


My hubby is not very fond of okra. Unfortunately he has me to thank for that.  Why? Well , when we were both studying in Karachi, Pakistan, he came over once to have dinner at my apartment. Since it was the early days of dating and yours truly was in the mood to show off my culinary skills and made this dried curry using canned tuna and okra ( hey its university days we were living on a budget).....
Sat down to eat and after some time , my sister who lived with me commented the okra was  abit stringy and hard. Poor guy had finally picked only the tuna and set aside the okra pieces. So now mention okra to him, he would pull a face, but i have caught him eating okra at university canteen so must have something to do with my cooking 

 A few months ago I was flipping through the channels  while waiting for the clock to strike 12  so I can go and fetch my son from preschool, Mark Bittman's how to cook everything caught my eye.  It was this salad  that caught my attention. He was  watching this chef called Suvir Saran make him an okra salad and it looked so simple and delicious that I decided to give it try.  The local farmer's markets have loads of tender okras, never buy large ones as they are quite hard , they are sometimes known as ladies fingers or bindi or bandaka.   So here is my version of that salad.

Okra Salad ; recipe adapted from Suvir Saran's Crispy Okra Salad 

150- 175 g  okra/ ladies fingers/ bindi
1 medium tomato, deseeded, cut into strips
1 red or green chilli sliced
Juice of 1 lime
1 small shallot or half small onion, finely sliced into halfmoons
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp tumeric
oil for deep frying

1. Cut the stems of the okra, cut in half length wise, then cut each half into three or four strips , length wise. Mix with tumeric and pinch of salt. Deep  fry in batches in hot oil till crispy  and dark green. Drain on kitchen paper or towel

2. Place the onion slices in a bowl , squeeze in the lime  with pinch of salt and scrunch with your fingers to soften and release their flavor. Add your chilli and tomato and mix and leave for the flavors to develop.

3. Place your okra in the bowl you are going to serve , using your finger add your onion, tomato mixture , dont add the liquid at the bottom as it makes the okra too soggy.  Mix everything gently, taste adjust seasoning, drizzle a little of the lime juice in the bottom of the previous bowl if necessary.

Serve as soon as possible.

If you are wondering how he ate it, well,  I  loaded his plate before he had the chance to say no , didnt gag or pull a face, which means it went down well.

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