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Author Notes: This recipe will prove to you that cooked okra is anything but the sticky, gooey mess that makes it so unpopular. Okra cooked in Gujarati style are filled to the hilt with spices and have an al dente bite to them. Enjoy with super thin Gujarati roti. —Annada Rathi
Serves 3 to 4
- 1/2 cup peanut powder (60 grams), made from roasted, unsalted peanuts (see step 1)
- 40 pieces okra (515 grams; post-trim: 360 grams)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 cup frozen grated coconut
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cuim
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Toast 60 grams peanuts (in a 350° F oven for 5 minutes or on the stovetop) and then grind in a coffee grinder or food processor.
- Trim the okra: Cut off the stems and pointed ends of the okra (I like to remove the pointed ends, as well, because in the process of cooking, the ends cook way faster than the main pod, making them dry, stringy, and unappetizing). Wipe okra with moist paper towel and leave them to air-dry for 30 minutes.
- Make a deep cut in the okra lengthwise but do not go all the way through—you want the okra to remain whole.
- Heat oil in a cast iron or thick-bottomed pan. Keep the heat at medium. After 4 to 5, minutes add mustard and cumin seeds and wait until they finish popping.
- Add turmeric and okra. Stir so that all the okra are covered in the turmeric oil. Continue to stir for 15 to 20 minute, until okra are nicely browned.
- Combine all the rest of the ingredients except lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl and mix well. Add to the okra. By now the okra edges would have acquired a brownish edge.
- Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 45 minutes. Add lime juice, mix well, and turn the heat off.
- Garnish with cilantro.