When a doctor tells you ‘This won’t hurt,” it tends to be before something painful. I’d rather have him or her say “This will be a little painful.” So let’s be straight here: Okra can be a little slimy. But before you cross it off your list, think about the other delicious foods that can also be slimy like guacamole and egg drop soup. It’s all good. In okra’s case, it can be very good.
Thanks to all who wrote in asking for help with okra. It’s been fun to practice and to see what other chefs have to say. I was really happy to see Aarti win this season of The Next Food Network Star. Her new show Aarti Party, will focus on using Indian flavors and I realized watching her how little I cook Indian at home. I am in awe of cooks who know the nuances of the different types of curries. And like almost all cuisines, Indian dishes are even better when made with fresh ingredients and there is plenty of fresh okra right now.
This recipe serves 4 and uses about a pound of okra and a roughly chopped tomato. It requires a quick saute, a little liquid (in this case, a bottle of beer from Brooklyn Brewery) and about a half an hour. It’s not hard to make. Market fresh garlic works with almost all of the summer vegetables and okra is no exception. This could make a great vegetarian main course with some rice and it works equally well as a side dish as well. I add a pinch of cayenne at the end but be careful. Too much cayenne hurts. Not as much as a tetanus shot, but still.
Beer Braised Okra with Curry and Turmeric
Market Cost $5/4 servings = $1.25/serving
Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat in a large frying pan
Peel and slice 2 cloves of garlic and add to pan
Trim the tops off one pound of okra from just below the stem
Add okra to pan with garlic and stir
Add 1 roughly chopped tomato
Sprinkle a teaspoon each of curry powder and turmeric, a pinch of salt, and some pepper and stir again to coat
For a spicier dish, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
Saute for 7 minutes or so stirring occasionally
Add a bottle of a local beer (a darker beer will give the dish a rich bitterness that works really well with the curry)
Turn heat to low and cover.
Cook for 25 minutes or so, stirring every 10.
Serve as a side dish or over rice a spicy summer supper.