Simply Okra

Whenever I find small tender okra (or lady’s finger, as it is called in India), I make this dish. I first tasted this in my aunt’s house over a decade ago. Being an ardent okra lover, I fell in love at the very first bite. When we came back, I, along with my mom tried it with equally delicious results. But over the next few years it was lost from our kitchen. When I started cooking on my own, this dish was always in the back of my mind. It was the taste I could remember; not the recipe. I had to rekindle my mom’s memory and voila, there I was, relishing it once again.

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the dish. Crispy from toor dal and spicy from black pepper, this minimally spiced dish lets the okra shine through. Thats makes it one of my all-time favourites.

Since okra is used whole, use only tender pods. How to find out whether they are tender? Hold the pod in your hand and gently break the tip with your thumb. If the tip snaps instantly, the pod is young. If it is woodsy, fibrous and doesn't snap, its mature.

Okra stuffed and ready to be baked

Though the dish is originally prepared in a kadai or skillet, I bake them in the oven. Not only does it reduce the amount of oil used, I don’t have to baby sit the okra. But the stove-top version is equally delicious too.

Ingredients

Whole okra or lady’s finger – 1 lb (about 40 pieces)
Toor dal – ¼ cup
Whole black pepper – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp + ½ tsp
Oil – to spray

Method

Grind toor dal, pepper and 1 tsp of salt to a coarse powder. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Spice Mixture

Cut the top and end of the okra. Make a slit on one side and stuff with spice powder without breaking the pod. Arrange okra on the baking sheet and spray them with oil. Sprinkle rest of the salt and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the pods gently to the other side and bake for additional 5 minutes, or until they are slightly crispy . Let rest for 2 minutes before serving.

If cooking on stove-top, heat oil in a kadai or skillet and gently cook the stuffed okra with a sprinkle of salt, until done and toasty.

Stuffed Okra

Stuffed okra served with avocado rotis and tomato raita

46 comments:

Sia said...

Sug, this got to be the simplest stuffed okra recipe and i really cant to wait to try it. may be i'll just add little bit of amchur for little tangy taste.

sra said...

Ah, how many times has one snapped the tip off the veggie only to have the vegetable guy look daggers at you!

Suganya, do you know how this can be adapted to the MW?

Aparna said...

I do make okra stuffed with spice powder but this spice mixture using dal is new to me.
Shall definitely try this out.

Arundathi said...

that looks delicious and sounds amazingly simple. I guess the key is using tender okra, which i'm gonna pick today at the market. thanks for the recipe.

Srivalli said...

wow suganya..you took me back a long time!..i remember those yummy masala bendakaya as Amma used to call it...recipe is different..though its kind of same...this reminds that I must ask my mom how those were done!

lovely pictures as usual!

Shyam said...

That's a different stuffing powder - thanks for the tip. You're such an inspiration :)

Asha said...

I LOVE fresh young Okras but it's so expensive here!! Just have get frozen which is great for gravies but not so great for stuffing like this. Your dish look yum!
Loved your Mor Kali, had it for lunch with some chutney, was yummy! Thanks. Happy Mother's day, see you on Monday!:)

sunita said...

Bhendi(as we call okra) is one of my favourite veggies...thanks, Sug, for this great recipe...will definitely give it a try :-)

Siri said...

I always follow the same tip to find good, young Okra Suganya and Baking is so cool.. next time I am gonna do this way!

Siri

giniann said...

That's a yield of non greasy non-slimy okra. Lovely recipe.

ms said...

hi suganya, Lovely photographs. I make something similiar,except now i microwave the stuffed okra before sauteing them on my nirlep non stick. Consumes really less oil.

vegeyum said...

I love okra too, but have never tried stuffing them. Don;t you just love the name "Ladies fingers"?

Alpa said...

so few ingredients turned into something that looks so good! we always stuff ours with the usual - besan, chillies, garlic, etc. I've never had these with ground toor or black pepper. i'll definitely be trying these out once my okra starts growing!

Mansi Desai said...

wow, toor dal stuffing?? that sounds interesting Sugs! will surely try this version sometime...we generally use roasted besan for the stuffing:)

kamala said...

stuffed okra is simply delicious suganya. kadai looks cute

Nandita said...

Love the simple recipe with the short list of ingredients...it will take some effort to select all young okra of similar size from the market, but this one should be worth it...superb pics as usual

Suma Rajesh said...

wooo the item looks awesome.....ur all recipe looks tasty and inspire me to make it.....and the mini kadai where the bhendi r placed r tooo cute...

bee said...

this looks fantastic.

Erinn said...

This looks so gorgeous, I'm dying to try it. Love your photos, so much.
But, I hate to admit this, but I don't know what tor dahl is?
Can you help??
Thanks, and I'm really enjoying your blog.

masalamagic said...

looks delicious sugs! will surely have to try it, pics are lovely!

Manasi said...

Simply Superb!!!!
I love okra too!!!

Hannah said...

I've actually never had okra before.. I always hear about how slimy they can be so I stay away, but the look good prepared like this!

nrimaami said...

I usually stuff them with rasam powder + salt, and fry them in a kadai. Should try doing the same thing baked. Thanks for the idea.

Cynthia said...

I have an obsession with okras and will most definitely give this a fry. I will eat mine with dhal and rice though and lots of pepper sauce or achar :)

Divya Vikram said...

love the idea of baking the okra..got some from the farmers market todya..will try ur recipe

TheCooker said...

Cooking them in the oven is a great idea.
Goes straight into the bulging must-try folder.

Meera said...

I love okra. I will surely try this recipe. The stuffing looks totally different than all the stuffed okras I have had before. Delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Namratha said...

I make stuffed Bhindi all the time, but have never used Toor Dal as a filling, this looks gr8!

farida said...

looks so delicious! interesting recipe. you have a great blog here!

Shubha Ravikoti said...

Suganya... ur okra and ur pictures.... both r so awesome... check my blog i have a surprise for u...:D

Nabeela said...

oh wow Sugany....you are always the queen of easy recipes. his goes in my to try folder!

Anonymous said...

I love okra but have never stuffed it with spices. Looks lovely.
Have been seeing a lot of the Rajasthani stuffed okra these days

sandeepa(Bong Mom's Cookbook)

Maya said...

Okra looks delicious..This stuffing is very new to me, looks simple, easy and tasty..Will surely try next time..

Y said...

Yum. Okra is so underrated, in my opinion. I'm curious about the avocado roti in the background!

Susan said...

I was converted to okra a while back, and now I am growing it fresh in my mom's garden this season. Can't wait to try this simple recipe. Fab photos!

Kalai said...

For some reason, the pics aren't loading on my browser. Still, the recipe sounds simple and a great use of okra! :)

Archana, mama of twins said...

okra is my favorite veggie... this sounds so good suganya.. thanks for the tip on the beet recipe by the way..

your photos are killer as ever.

Homecooked said...

This looks amazing.Mouthwatering delicious :)

Suganya said...

Thank you all of you for your comments and appreciation.

Sra, I haven't tried this in MW because I want okra to be slightly crispy. You can sprinkle water and cook, I suppose.

Asha, Glad you like mor kali. See you soon.

VY, How thoughtful they were while naming this vegetable. Small and tender, they are definitely like lady's fingers :)

Erinn, Toor dal is a lentil that is available in Indian stores. This link may be of help

http://ishopindian.com/shop/catalog/Nirav-Toor-Dal-Unoily-Madhi-India-p-21680.html

nrimaami, rasam powder sounds great. I don't get to use that spice mixture very often. Thanks for the tip.

Linda said...

Hi Suganya, you have such patience to stuff all those okra so neatly... the first picture is sublime :)

Gattina said...

The baked version sound wonderful. And great tip on choosing tender okra, thank you!

Private Chef said...

Hi There

I just stumbled upon your blog and think it is an excellent read for foodies and especially like the photos and design of the blog.I started off as a blogger myself and realise the importance of a good clean design like you have here. I have now bookmarked it for myself to read and have added you to our new list of "all the food blogs in the world" on www.ifoods.tv which we have been compiling for the last month! Hopefully it will send you some traffic in the long run. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on food so keep up the good work and talk soon. Cheers

Diamond & Pearl said...

What that looks simple yet yummy, okra is my fav vegetable, your pics or gorgeous!

Hetal said...

this is a very nice okra recipe...thanx for sharing.Would love to see u on my blog and get ur comments..

Raaga said...

I am rediscovering okra again... have 1.4 kilo of the baby variety sitting in the fridge... will try when I return from my camping trip.

Anonymous said...

i am a beginner .. how do you line a baking sheet with foil.. do you use the aluminium foil to cover the baking pan?

well i will try your recipes ... it looks very tasty..

Post a Comment