August 16, 2013

Friends on Friday - Lady Fingers it is!

Okra is known in many English-speaking countries as lady's fingers it’s an edible green seed pod, I first came across it when I was living in Japan. I’m not sure if it’s traditionally used in their diet but it’s said to originate in S.E. Asia and Africa. Okra is popular due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. It’s also known for being high in antioxidants and a good source of calcium and potassium. Sounds like a super food to me!

My friend Gaye from Gaye Abandon has shared with me this amazing Okra curry recipe, a perfect winter meal. It’s got all the ‘good stuff’ in it Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric, Mustard seeds, Chilli – all the warming anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, things that aid your digestion, warm you up and keep your circulation moving! A fantastic flavored curry and vegetarian too.

I really like what Gaye Abandon Handmade Homewares and Accessories are all about, her works are all created from 100% wool, upcycled, felted textiles, which makes it all sustainable and has a real environmental twist. She creates practical and pleasurable homewares and accessories that mix the multifarious colours and textures of pieces of felted wool in fresh one-off combinations. What’s not to love!

Here goes:
Gaye says; ‘it’s adapted from a recipe in the Sri Lankan Flavours cookbook by Channa Dassanayaka, I love to adapt recipes to my tastes”

And I say ‘why not, that’s the BEST form of cooking’

Okra Curry
Ingredients                 Serves 4

500g okra, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces
2 teaspoons dried red chilli flakes
1 green chilli (sliced in half lengthways- seeds removed)
1/2 teaspoon ground chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 curry leaves (or 2 bay leaves)
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped or canned tomatoes
salt to taste
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice

Wash okra and place in a bowl. Toss with turmeric and salt and set aside.
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add curry leaves, mustard seeds, onion and dried chilli. Sauté for about 3 minutes.

Add okra to the pan, then add green chilli, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and tomato. Cook for 10 minutes tossing regularly so the dry ingredients don't burn. Add salt to taste.
Add coconut milk, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until okra is cooked-- about 10 minutes (the okra should still have a light crunch).

Remove from heat and stir through the lemon or lime juice.

Let me know when you try it and if it blew your top off. I would love to know what you thought of the okra flavours.

Also, if you happen to be around West Footscary you must go and check out Gaye and Melanie’s Exhibition at Homefront; Interior designs from Reclaimed textiles – check flier for details or click here. Or just go – it’s a must for all textile lovers 8th-28th August.

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