The "Burmese" okra from Southern Exposure is abundant right now. The challenge is finding creative uses for our harvest. We have a recipe for fried okra that we've made several times, but we don't often eat such fatty dishes. Watching the okra slowly spoil in the kitchen, with more in the garden ready for harvest, spurred David to seek out a new use for our okra. Last night, he prepared a fantastic okra curry, an Indian stew with okra, chickpeas, tomatoes and just a little heat (a great way to use up some of those dried chiles we've been accumulating). Serve on a bed of basmati rice with some raita and naan on the side, and you've got a really special dinner.
Curried Okra with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
(adapted from epicurious.com)
1 1/4 lb fresh okra, sliced thinly (okra should be green and small)1 1/2 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
4 tsp curry powder
2 tsp chopped dried chile pepper
1 14-oz can whole tomates in juice; chop tomatoes and reserve juice
1 19-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup coconut milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion and garlic with ginger, curry powder, and chile peppers, stirring, 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, chickpeas, and coconut milk and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in okra, salt, and black pepper and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until okra is tender, about 10 minutes.