I love okra, and lately I’ve been buying tender young gombos from Flintrock Hill at Sunset Valley Farmers Market. Almost any way you cook them, I’ll eat those suedey, sometimes slimy pods. Of course I prefer cornmeal-dusted fried okra. But we (that is, I) don’t do much frying around here. It’s just too messy and the baby hasn’t yet learned to do kitchen chores. Here I offer an easy preparation, full of fresh okra’s distinctive flavor and enhanced with Indian spices. ———-WARNING! These pods aren’t slimy!
EASY OKRA makes 1/2 pound or a full pound. That’s anywhere from 1 serving to 1—I mean 4, servings.
- 1/2 or full pound okra, caps trimmed off close to, but not cutting into, the pods. Leave a little lid on ’em.
- 1 to 3 Tablespoons peanut oil or other oil with a high smoke point. I recently discovered Spectrum organic peanut oil at Whole Foods.
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala—you can find this ready-made in bulk at Central Market. Or make your own.
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon curry powder—You can also find this blend in jars and in CM’s bulk department. Or make my Caribbean mix.
Heat up a heavy skillet, 10″ for a 1/2 pound batch, 12″ for a full pounder, over medium-high heat. Add the oil, swirl to coat the pan and toss in your pods. Saute, adjusting your heat to medium if your oil is smoking, until the okra picks up some nice brown spots. Sprinkle the spices and some salt (to taste, maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) over the okra and continue to cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes total.
Look ma, no slime!