Thursday, August 4, 2011

okra curry (bendi masala) with garbanzos

Tuesday is my favorite day of the week because it's the day I pick up my CSA box. I come home, take a phote of my spoils, browse my cookbooks and take notes about what I'm going to cook in the coming week. Then I eat a snack.

We received a huge pile of okra this week, and I knew right away I wanted to make a curry. None of my cookbooks had anything that I wanted, and while I considered making up my own recipe, a quick search lead me to a blog post about bendi masala, or spicy okra curry with mint.

The last time I made not-fried okra, it was a little slimy and not that exciting, but this recipe sounded promising. I wavered a bit on the yogurt-- would it work?-- but I went with it. I didn't have a red onion, so I used a yellow one, but I followed the rest of the recipe pretty closely.
I sauteed my (thoroughly washed and completely dried) okra, onion, garlic and ginger in oil (I used grapeseed). After a few minutes, it was releasing a bit of the slime, and I nervously stirred in 2 tablespoons greek yogurt. I stirred in my spices and let everything cook a bit longer. Once the okra was starting to brown, I added 3 roma tomatoes (I didn't have one large tomato but I had lots of beautiful yellow romas). I also threw in 2 cups cooked chickpeas to make it more of an entree. The whole thing took about 20 minutes, which I appreciated, and we had the curry over brown rice. I didn't have any cilantro or mint on hand, but I thought my curry was pretty nonetheless. (EDW's response was: "looks good, smells good-- like you!" Thanks, honey, preesh. I'm glad I smell as nice to you as curried vegetables.)
I was convinced this would be terrible. I don't know why, but I had visions of writing about my massive okra fail and I was sure I'd be eating muesli and yogurt for dinner. Oh, was I wrong! I was so very wrong. This curry was delicious!

Y'all. It's simple. It's flavorful. It's easy. And the okra was perfect and not at all slimy. It was slightly crisp still, and Edwin and I loved it. Because it's a dry curry, I do think it'd be better with an Indian chutney or two, but I didn't have any. I'm thrilled about the leftovers.

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