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Author Notes: Madhur Jaffrey says: "This is easily my favorite okra recipe, though I must admit to loving plain, crisply fried okra as well. Okra is a vastly misunderstood vegetable. First of all, it should be young and crisp when it is harvested. Then, it should be cooked so its mucilaginous quality (that is, its slimy aspect) is somewhat reduced. Look for small tender okra. They are the best."
- 12 ounces fresh okra
- 1/4 cup olive, canola, or peanut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 3/4 cup shallots or onions that have been peeled, cut in half lengthwise and cut into fine half rings. You should have about 2 ounces by weight, which is approx. 3 big shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chilies
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Cut off and discard the top stem ends and the very tips of the okra pods. You can do 3-4 at the same time. Now cut each pod diagonally into 3-4 slices, depending upon size.
- Pour the oil into a medium frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. A few seconds later, put in all the sliced okra. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes The okra will have browned a bit. Add the shallots and continue to stir and fry for about 3 minutes so that the shallots brown as well. Now turn the heat to low. Add the coriander, red chilies, and salt. Stir and keep cooking another 7-9 minutes or until the okra is crisp and cooked through. Add the lemon juice and stir to mix.
- Note: Madhur Jaffrey has put variations of this recipe in several of her books. There is a Pakistani version which is basically the same thing, but finished with chopped cilantro instead of lemon juice at the end.