It’s always an adventure getting recipes from my mom because she does not use recipes. She works in the kitchen from a magical sense of proportion and scent that I unfortunately did not inherit (thanks mom).
I was at farmer’s market recently and picked up some beautiful okra and knew I had to get her recipe for spicy okra. She was in Paris (no doubt squandering away my inheritance) so I emailed her; this is what I got back:
Pinch of garam masala
That’s it. That’s the recipe.
And if I had followed up and asked, “How do you make it?” or “How much turmeric should I use?” Her response (which is her response to every single thing she makes): “It’s easy.”
“It’s easy” would make up all the instructions. I am not making this up.
So, when she got back, we made the spicy okra together and oh-my-goodness was it fantastic (and indeed easy). And I'm glad I cooked with her because she threw in other ingredients just because she felt like it, which really added a punch to the okra.
So, grab some okra (there are no measurements here) and enjoy!
Okra (as much as you like)
Red chili powder
Pinch of garam masala
After cleaning the fresh okra, make an incision lengthwise in each piece of okra.
Clean, peel, and cut potato.
Sprinkle salt all over cut okra and potato.
In a plate, mix together all of the spices.
And as they do in India, my mom did the mixing part with her fingers. She's not afraid of a little heat.
Insert spice mixture in between each piece of okra (with your fingers if you dare) until all the okra are prepped.
Mix the potato slices with the spice mixture as well.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat; once it's hot, throw in about a teaspoon of cumin seeds.
Put in the okra and potato mixture. Do not turn over or mix too much as the okra might fall apart.
My mom said to make sure that all sides of the okra and potato were equally heated until brown -- she turned them over with her fingers, but I turned them over (very gingerly) with a spatula.
She also added a little more oil during the process and then covered with a lid to add moisture.
And that's it. It was really simple and so incredibly delicious. Eric and I inhaled the batch and I'm ready to make another. You can eat this with rice, but it tastes so much better with roti (Indian bread). And if you're not familiar with my early experience with okra, you'll want to read about it HERE.
Happy eating all!