, , ,

Cooking an Indian foursome, with added okra

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.

You Might Also Like


  1. Ha ha ha, definitely done that before! And I will give mung beans another try if you insist - haven't had a lot of good experiences with them (yet). Okra I can for sure get behind, though!

  2. Everything looks sooo soo good! I loove Indian food but I've never really made it much myself so kudos to you, times four. Glad you're an okra fan. It gets no love!

  3. You did good, Chef Ramsey, even if the feat did require cursing. It all looks delicious, and I wish I could take some of it off your hands so you didn't have to eat it so many days. :)

    I love mung beans though I mostly forget about cooking them. I should remedy that. Maybe I'll look in my Indian cookbooks for palak dal.

  4. wow what a gorgeous plate of food! it looks so cozy and comforting! and what colors!

  5. Wow, I need to check out that cookbook, "India's Vegetarian Cooking"! My b/f made Indian naan with garlic and black sesame seeds from The New York Times recipes and they were pretty tasty! I <3 mung beans, do you know, these are also used on shaved ice desserts smothered in sugary water? It's common in Asia/Taiwan, too. Also, great as mung bean dessert soup! Hmmm I would love to try the kodel....and the tamarind ingredient sounds so good!

  6. Yum, what an awesome looking plate of food! I get a bit carried away when it comes to cooking Indian dishes too. I'm right with you on the okra, I've been cooking a few okra curries lately. Sadly my fellows aren't on the mung bean wagon but I really enjoy them and have made a few nice curries with them in the past. Sound like a great cookbook - I reckon Indian cookbooks keep on giving, there is always so much to try!

  7. Ooh nice, I like okra but not familiar with mung beans at all. I've not seen that book before. We have Vegan Indian Cooking by Anupy Singla which is really good too.

  8. On the bright side, you now have a lot of yummy food to eat. :-) Awesome job, trying out so many recipes at once! I'm just starting to cook a few more Indian dishes myself, but nothing as ambitious as you.

  9. Yes! I've definitely been down that road before, taking on too much, bitching and complaining the whole way through but refusing to give up any of the dishes you've decided to make, lol.
    I'll have to trust you on the okra, I've only ever had it in canned soup, so not exactly the best representative of its tastiness. You've got me seriously hankering in for some Indian food now.

  10. That looks amazing!! I, too, love okra; my dad and I used to gross out my Mom by eating plates full of what she called slimy "daisies." Honestly,I've yet to meet a veggie I didn't love. Lucky me,eh? :)


Popular Posts

Blog Archive