Sometimes, I get swept up in a wave of a cooking adventurousness that sees me sweating over the cooker for hours, cursing my decision to cook four dishes when one would be enough. I start off fancying myself to be Gordon Ramsay, I wind up swearing and cursing like him.
This was one of those times.
I'd been perusing India's Vegetarian Cooking, and had one of those 'I want to cook that, and that, and that. Oh yeah, and THAT!' moments.
I decided to make bhuna lobhia - stir-friend black beans with tomatoes, cumin, ginger and chilli, as well as a random tofu scramble with potatoes which may have been based on aloo gobi but with the cauliflower played by tofu.
That should have been enough for a decent meal, but I couldn't leave well enough alone, and decided to try out a spinach and mung bean-based dish called palak dal.
Mung beans are still a fairly new addition to my cupboard, but they're a welcome one, and they worked so well with the spinach, spices and lemon in the recipe. Mung beans have a bad rap, but I'm appointing myself their official PR person. Eat some, they're awesome!
But the star of the show was okra. You know I love okra like it's one of my family, right? And not one of the ones where I freak one when I think we share genes. Whatever the okra-hating slime-phobes say, okra is among the vegetable nobility in my eyes.
There are a couple of okra recipes in India's Vegetarian Cooking, but I made kodel (sweet and sour okra) here. It was a wonderous treatment of okra, and a dish completely new to me. The sauce for the okra was made from all sorts of fun stuff, like dried chillis, poppy seeds, coconut, tamarind and browned onions.
It was so delicious, I ate it for the next few days happily. Alas the okra lost a bit of its colour, but I'm eating with my mouth not with my eyes, so I'll forgive it. By eating it. Again and again and again.