Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tangy & Spicy Masala Stuffed Okra

Its been over a year since I started writing here...A place I resort to whenever I feel like doing something different... a place where I can speak my thoughts or draw an old memory...and more importantly a place that keep me inspired and  pursue new and challenging things...
Thats when I  thought to myself why not give this blog some character...It all started with creating  a blog button. I am glad it ended up giving a whole new scene to this blog... 
I had a psychological aversion  towards these green beauties few years back...I wouldn't even dare to eat it.... But all such notion disappeared one day when one of my fellow flat-mate made this and I happily enjoyed every last bite of it. It happens to me all the time.... All it takes is a one good dish  suddenly my stance change from...'me not likey' to 'me likey'.. :)
In my personal experience (of being an adamant picky eater ) one of the best way to start liking things is to start cooking it by yourself. You will seriously astound yourself  when you look back say why did I hate this ?

Masala Stuffed Okra is one such dish that not only enhance the natural taste of okra but also lure in more people to like it....Last week when I made this I couldn't wait till the rice was done... I immediately grabbed a croissant (a crazy combo...?? I loved it...) and ate it...
These are best eaten with rice and a dollop of yoghurt...For dinner I enjoyed eating Okra with this as well.
Roasting whole spices will give a nice enhanced flavor to the stuffed masala.

To avoid okras getting slimy, wash Okras well and dry each of them individually with a kitchen towel.
Cut the head off and slit it length wise on one side. Make sure not to tear the opposite side. This will ensure the masalas will be stuffed in perfectly.

Sources : Veggie Belly (mostly)
              Khana Khazana

  1. Okra                  -  20- 22 medium sized.
  2. Onion                 - 1/2 of medium chopped into tiny pieces
  3. Garlic pods          - 2 chopped finely
  4. Turmeric             - 1/4 tsp
  5. Salt
  6. Lemon squeezed  - 1/2 small
  7. Oil

Dry Roast and Grind

  1. Coriander seeds   - 1 tbsp
  2. Cumin Seeds       - 1 tsp
  3. Fennel Seeds       - 1 tsp
  4. Pepper               - 1 tsp
  5. Dried red chili      -  3
Roast the ingredients listed under 'Dry Roast and Grind' on a wide heavy bottomed pan.
Stir all the ingredients until it attains a slightly darker shade and releases a good aroma of spices.
In a spice grinder, grind these roasted spices into a fine powder.

Heat some oil in a pan. Add the diced onions and garlic. Cook till it is wilted and oil starts to appear. Add the ground spices, turmeric and salt to this. Stir it till the spices are cooked and raw smell is gone. 
Remove from heat and let it cool. Squeeze some lemon over it. Around 1/2 tbsp. The stuffing is ready.

To avoid okras getting slimy, wash Okras well and dry each of them individually with a kitchen towel. Cut the head off and slit it length wise on one side. Make sure not to tear the opposite side. The slit should be just enough to stuff masalas inside.

Now slowly, without tearing the Okras apart, place the stuffing inside and place it aside. Continue the process until all the okras are stuffed.
Heat some oil in a wide pan. (I used a wide cast iron skillet). When the oil is hot swirl it around, so that oil is even coated on the surface.
Place stuffed okras, with the stuffed side facing up. Cook at high heat for a minute or two. 
Reduce the heat, cover it with a lid and cook till it is soft and cooked- 6-8min.
Open the lid and slowly turn the okras, so that the stuffed side will be facing down.
Squeeze some lemon over the okras and around the skillet.
Cook for a minute or two.
Remove the pan from heat source. Place the okras in a serving plate.
Serve hot and enjoy.