Vendakka /Okra is one of the favorite vegetables in our household. I can say it is a family vegetable. Everyone in my family as well as his family loves them. There was a funny incident happened in my sister’s house with okra. Last time when I visited in India I was staying with my sister and appa. My niece was 5 years old at that time; she is ardent fan of our hindi movies and serials. Only vegetable she likes is potato and okra at that time. My sister who is lazy cook told me, as you are here; cook something with okra, kunju (my niece) loves that too. So I decided to make stir fry with okra. I used seasoning with mustard seeds and some halved red chilies.
On the dining table seeing okra, my niece started laughing and was ready to eat the rice. Then when she saw red chili in the okra stir fry she told” Periyamma mirchi dalkar thune muche marana chahathe ho” ( Aunty you want to kill me by adding red chili) I was stunned hearing these long words from a 5 year old. My sister told me it is the influence of TV serial and movies. She practices all the long words they used in serials. Now also she makes me laugh and surprises me once in a while with her statements while talking in the phone.
Last weakened we didn’t do our usual shopping as we are out for buying a car. We wanted to change one of our cars to a slightly bigger vehicle, as going out with stroller of little one is difficult in our car. So decided to buy a bigger vehicle and finally bought Honda-CRV. We had to spend long hours in the dealership, first day negotiations and deal happened around 9.00 P.M. When we left from the dealership it was 11.00 P.M. So they didn’t wash the new car, they told us to comeback next day to wash the car and go through the manual. So second day (Sunday) we went again. That means we lost our time for grocery shopping. This Tuesday we went out and bought some vegetables, when I saw fresh okra I immediately put them into the shopping cart and decided to make a thoran with them. I was craving for okra thoran for long time.
I made this okra thoran slightly different from the usual thoran preparations and it came out tasty. Rani of Pranis Kitchen commented in CCB thoran recipe that adding fennel seeds will enhance the taste. So I thought I will add fennel seeds to Vendakka/Okra thoran as I did that for Rajasthani okra fry, I know there is good marriage between both of them. This time I added not only fennel seeds but also cumin seeds along with my usual seasoning of mustard seeds, urad dal, red chili and curry leaves. One more thing I learned that if we cook okra in high heat for some time then the sliminess will be removed fast. Be careful, stir in between prevent the sticking to bottom of the pan. Here goes the recipe.
What you need
Okra/Vendakka: 4 cup (washed and chopped thin round)
Onion : 1 cup ( Finely chopped)
Red chilies : 2 no (halved)
Red chili powder: 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: ¼ teaspoon
Cumin powder : 1 teaspoon
Coconut : 1/3 cup (I used desiccated one, use fresh or frozen if you have for best result)
Urad dal : 1 tablespoon
Curry Leaves : 1 Sprig ( 12 leaves)
Olive oil : 2 tablespoon (if you want authentic taste use coconut oil)
Salt : 1 teaspoon or to taste
Mustard seeds : ½ teaspoon
Fennel seeds: ¼ teaspoon
Cumin seeds: ¼ teaspoon
How I made
Heat oil in a pan add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds , halved red chilies and urad dal as mustard seeds start popping add chopped onion and cook for another 7 minutes or until they become translucent To this add washed and cut okra and add turmeric powder and salt .Let it cook for 10 minutes in high heat with stir in between to prevent the okra from sticking to the bottom.
If you are using fresh or frozen coconut ground them with cumin and red chili powder to form coarse paste with less water.
Add desiccated coconut, cumin and red chili powder and cook for another 3 minutes. Finally add the curry leaves and switch off the flame.
Enjoy with rice and curry.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serving: 5 serving
Will you make it again: Yes I will