Okra could be a tricky vegetable to make. After several failed attempts, I feel that I have developed a fool proof recipe that I stick to now. Few things to keep in mind -
Choose tender Okra - Do not overcrowd the pan - Season Okra only in the end - Do not add water at any stage - Use a dry citrus seasoning for acidity instead of a liquid ingredient like lemon juice/vinegar
First things first. Rinse Okra with cold water, spread on a towel and allow it to dry completely. Cut potatoes into small cubes and slice the onions
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in an 11 inch (or wider), shallow non stick pan. Add the potatoes, lightly season with salt, cover with lid and allow to steam on low heat for about 8-10 minutes
Remove the lid and check the potatoes. If they are done, turn the heat to high and toss the pan constantly till the potatoes crisp up
Add the sliced onions and continue tossing the pan until the moisture evaporates and the Onions turn brown. Transfer the potatoes and onions mix to a plate (spread it out so that it doesn't steam itself) and set aside
After the Okra has dried completely, cut them into 1 cm thick pieces horizontally (like the picture) discarding the top stem part. Make sure you use a sharp knife to avoid bleeding
In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add Cumin seeds and allow to crackle. Toss in the cut Okra and allow to cook on medium-low heat while stirring it gently at regular intervals. Drizzle more oil if required.
Some amount of slime will start developing in a few minutes, but don't worry about it and continue stirring. ABSOLUTELY NO SALT AND NO COVERING AT THIS STAGE. Continue cooking for about 25 minutes on low heat
The slime will gradually disappear and okra pieces will slightly reduce in size. Eat some Okra to check if it has cooked enough to your liking. If not, you can cover with lid and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Remove the lid and lightly season with salt. Adding salt in the end helps absorbing the remaining moisture.
Add the cooked Onion-potato mix and the remaining ingredients. Toss well on high heat and enjoy!