Even as a recipe developer I sometimes don’t know what to make for dinner. When nothing comes to mind I start rinsing and peeling the vegetables I have in hand. And while doing so something interesting happens. I start cooking intuitively. I swear, the vegetables tell me what to do with them. I chop without too much thought. Saute the onion. Grab curry powder or smoked paprika. Without thinking too much. Then I rinse basmati rice because it cooks in 12 minutes. Then a dish with its own identity is born. Most of my recipes were born this way.
You would barely detect the okra’s slime. It disappears in this type of cooking method. You can have it with rice, or another grain, or as is. Pickled limes are optional but once you add them you’ll want to add them to any vegetable dish. Their tanginess is tongue-kicking. You can buy them at Indian grocery stores, or at Jons or Whole Foods. (In Israel I used to buy them at the Asian store in Levinsky). Some brands have preservatives, so make sure to read the back before buying.
Indian-Style Okra & Zucchini
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or ghee
- 1 onion - diced
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves - minced
- 2 inch ginger - minced
- 2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds – optional
- 6 okras - sliced
- 1 medium green zucchini - diced
- 1 Medium zucchini - or green, diced
- 1 – 2 cups sugar peas - sliced
- 6-10 grape tomatoes or any tomato - optional
- Basmati rice
- Coconut milk - optional
- Olive oil
- Indian pickled limes or pickles lemons - optional
- Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and curry powder. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t let the garlic and curry burn. Lower the heat if necessary.
- Add the veggies and saute them for 3 – 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of water and ½ teaspoon salt and bring into a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cover the saucepan. Cook for about 15 – 20 minutes until the veggies are tender. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- Meanwhile make the basmati rice.
- Serve in deep plates: put the rice first, then the veggies, then drizzle some coconut milk and olive oil.