Asian Indian Okra and Tomatoes
This recipe is from northern India.   Many recipes tend to cook okra with tomatoes, tamarind, lemon juice or dry mango powder to eliminate the slimy effect okra has when cooked.   Carl and I frequently cook Asian Indian dishes because their wonderful combination of spices makes for great tasting meals.


3 Tablespoons light vegetable oil

1/8 teaspoon ground fennel

1/4 lb. Okra, trimmed and left whole if small or cut into bite size pieces

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 cup. finely chopped onion

1/8 teaspoon turmeric

2 cloves pressed or minced garlic

3/4 c. finely chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoons grated or crushed fresh ginger

1/4 c. hot water

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander


1 Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is very hot, add the okra in a single layer and fry without stirring for 1 minute.  Continue cooking for 3 or 4 minutes more, tossing and turning the okra until it is lightly browned.  Remove the okra from the pan and set aside.
2 Measure out the spices and place them right next to the stove in separate piles.  Add the remaining oil to the same pan along with the onion.  Cook the onion until light golden (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns caramel brown (about 8 or 10 minutes).
3 Add the cumin, coriander, fennel, cayenne pepper and turmeric.  Stir for a few seconds, and then add the tomatoes.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until mixture thickens and becomes pulpy.   Add the fried okra, salt, and 1/4 cup hot water.  Stir to mix and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and cook, covered, until the okra is cooked and sauce thickens, which should take about 20 minutes.  Stir in a little of the coriander and garnish with what’s left.