Friday, August 26, 2016

Vendakka Kari (aka) ladies finger (aka) okra dry curry

Macro Nutrition Facts

For 1100 grams of Okra which is about 2.4 pounds, I usually use about 6 teaspoons of oil (including the amount of oil used for brushing the pan.
After Cooking, this reduces to about 650 grams, which can serve about 5 people, for 130 grams per serving.
For a 130 gram serving, the Calories are 111 and the Macros are 
Fat (g)   4.8
Carbs (g) 16.4
Protein (g) 4.2

It's called Ladies finger in India and okra in the US. The kind you get in India is longer and the ones you get here in the US is shorter. 

In the greater Atlanta region, you can find the Indian version in many Indian stores. 

In the South Indian cuisine, we make a dry curry with this, or use it in 'sambar' or Vathakuzhambu' or make a 'daangar' which is kind of like a raita.

To make this dry curry, if you want it to be crunchy, you have to wash the okra ahead of time, preferably a day ahead and wrap it in a towel. 

Cut the okra in pieces like these. 
If you have a cast iron pan, please use that. If not, you can use a regular kadai or a nonstick pan. Although a cast iron pan makes it tastier.
I oil the pan with a teaspoon of oil and brush it around. And keep the flame on a medium and once the pan is hot, toss the okra on it. 

Toss it around gently, without mashing the vegetable.

Don't crowd the pan. Make it in two batches if necessary.

For every 100 grams of ladies finger, you can use half a teaspoon of oil (approximately).

And just toss it around, very gently, every 10 minutes without breaking the okra.

After about 20 ~ 25 minutes, when you see the juices have come out of the vegetable and it has started shrinking add enough salt and some turmeric powder. I don't add any red chili powder to this. I feel it takes away the flavor of the vegetable. But if you like it that way, you can add some at this point.

After the salt/ turmeric is blended in to the okra about 10~ 15 minutes after you added, the okra is done. 

Sometimes I just leave it like that, and sometimes I season this with oil and mustard seeds.

This is a side dish which can accompany rasam, sambar or morkuzhambu or just curd rice. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Vazhaikai Podi (to mix with rice)

You need raw green bananas to make this. There shouldn't be any hint of sweetness. 
You need 
2 raw green bananas
Dhania (coriander seeds)
Red chilies 
Chana dal
Tamarind (optional) (very little)

The ratio of Chana dal, dhaniya, red chilies is 1:1.5:1.5
You steam the bananas, peel them.
Roast the spices
Grind them with tamarind (I didn't use any cos it Tames the spiciness) 
Take it out and keep aside
Put the bananas in the mixer. 
Now put the spices you ground back in to the mixie and run it one more time.
Just garnish with curry leaves.

Mix with hot rice and eat.

Traditionally they powder this in an ammi (a stone grinder). It's obviously more tastier If hand pounded.