I talk a lot about seasonal produce here at the PP, but I can’t help but get excited about it. We wait for a long time for this stuff to show up around here, and when it does, boy howdy! I get so crazy, I start saying things like “Boy howdy!”
Now it’s okra’s turn. As a child, fried okra was one of my favorite things of all time, second only to fried shrimp. Oh, and fried zucchini. So maybe it’s third. Wherever it is on the list, it has a particular place in my heart. I just had no idea until fairly recently you could do anything else with it.
Indian cuisine has a lot of different ways to serve up okra, or bhindi, as it’s known there, including Bhindi Masala (see here for more recipe ideas). I was inspired by Indian flavors when making my version.
Some people are grossed out by okra’s mucilaginous first impression. They shouldn’t be, it disappears with cooking, though it will thicken whatever it’s in. So if you haven’t tried okra recently, I encourage you to give it another go. I also recently tried this recipe over at Jan’s Sushi Bar and it was awesome, especially with the Andouille sausage I threw in there.
I should add that this can be served as-is as a side, like I did here, or you could add some diced boneless chicken thighs and enough chicken stock until a stew’s consistency is reached. I’m all about options.
cooking fat of choice (butter, ghee, or coconut oil would be fab)
1 1/2 lbs. okra, trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1-inch sections
1 onion, diced
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. garam masala
2 cups chard, spinach or other greens, sliced thinly
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or tomatoes, diced
1 can coconut milk
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1) Melt cooking fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add okra and onion, stirring occasionally. When both begin to soften, stir in garlic, ginger, and masala until combined and masala is evenly distributed.
2) Add greens and tomatoes. When tomatoes are softened, about 3-4 minutes, add coconut milk in 1/4 cup increments until it’s reached a desirable consistency. You want it thick, not soupy. Season to taste with S&P.
NOTES: The steak in the picture was rubbed with the same garam masala and topped with a slab of pastured butter after grilling. Yum.