Curry and Okra

In lieu of a challenge this week, I am posting one of my very favorite dishes. A very dear friend from India has always been willing to help me make authentic, Indian food. I will eat anything she makes! One of those things she makes that I will eat is okra. I have never liked okra. It’s too slimy and seedy! My friend made it alongside her curry one day, and I loved it! I came to the conclusion that any vegetable curried is good. So I tried brussel sprouts. They are not good. But okra has become a permanent part of my curry repertoire.

When I cook curry, I am never sure how it will turn out. Tonight I decided to make a red curry. Beginning the way I always do, I chopped an onion and added it to the pan. I use coconut oil for flavor. Next, I added cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick, and whole black pepper. When the onions turned translucent, I added cilantro, garlic, cloves, ginger, chili paste, lime juice, and tomatoes. I put the lid on and let it all simmer until the tomatoes fell apart and the cilantro was wilted. Sometimes, a little water is needed so that the tomatoes do not stick to the pan. First taking out the cinnamon stick and cardamom, I then blend the blend the mixture until it is smooth. That is the curry sauce.

After I take out the sauce and blend it, I add more coconut oil to the pan, and set the chicken in to cook. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly, I pour the sauce on top. I then add the spices turmeric, cumin, and chili. Once everything has simmered for awhile, I add green beans and salt to taste. Just before I serve it, I add a little bit of heavy cream. If I don’t have heavy cream, coconut milk or cream are my second options. These are good dairy-free options as well. And it’s done!

So that’s the chicken. Now let’s talk about the okra. The first steps in making okra are the same as for the chicken. I saute and onion, add garlic, ginger, a cinnamon stick, whole cloves, cardamom, lime juice, tomatoes, cilantro and black pepper. When everything is cooked down, I remove the cardamom and cinnamon stick, and add the okra. I also add turmeric, chili, and cumin at this time. Once the okra is soft, it is done! I usually serve it with rice because I have not learned how to make gluten-free flat bread.

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