Bhindi Masala (Spicy Okra)

Last weekend at the Alemany farmer’s market, it seemed like everybody and their moms were selling okras. Most of the stands had big cardboard boxes full of giant okra pods. I don’t know if I’m totally making this up or if someone wise actually told me this, but aren’t giant pods supposed to be stringy and tough? Bleh.

So there I was, amongst all the ruthless Chinese ladies with sharp elbows (I’m allowed to say this because I’m Chinese), picking through the box of giants to find the babies. Said babies then ended up in my cauldron for a hearty Bhindi Masala – mwahaha.

1/2 cup ghee
2 large onions
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1-2 small green chilies (optional – not in original recipe)
1 pound okras, trimmed and sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped (original recipe asked for them to be skinned too – I’m way too lazy for that)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp fresh mint, chopped

Slice one of the onions thinly. Chop the other onion and put in blender/food processor with garlic, coriander, tumeric, and chiles (if using). Process to a fine paste and set aside.

Heat ghee over medium heat in heavy-bottom skillet. Add sliced onion and cook gently until tender and golden.

Add onion/garlic/spice paste and stir gently. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Add okras and stir to thoroughly coat. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until the okras are tender. Add tomatoes, mint, and garam masala. Simmer another 15 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice.

(Makes about 4 servings)