Weather it is love or hate depends largely on how you cook the pod.The slimy texture that is unpleasant to most people can be overcome to a large extent by following these simple rules when cooking Okra.
- Handle gently
- keep it dry
- use an acidic ingredient like lime juice,curd,tomato etc
- High heat and sear
- do not overcook
Gentle handling, While cutting it , cooking it and stirring it prevents the pods from breaking up.
Contact with moisture is what encourages the slime to come out so Make sure you drain all the water before cooking , it is best if the okra is patted dry.More moisture = more slime.
Use an acid/sour agent - If you are preparing a gravy with Okra - add liquid only after the okra is cooked. Use an acidic ingredient like vinegar ,lime juice, curd or Tomato in cooking .
Cook on high heat initially to sear the cut areas .Leaving small pods whole instead of cutting them also helps. Last but not the least Do not over cook.As the pod matures the sliminess decreases , so try and use pods that are at the perfect stage for cooking. Pods that feel firm to the touch and the tip snaps neatly when you break it are perfect for cooking.
- Okra - 1 lb cut into 1 inch pieces
- Onion - 1 big chopped
- Green chillies - 2 slit
- Ginger - 1/2 tsp chopped
- Garlic - 5 cloves chopped
- curry leaves - 2 springs
- Coconut Milk - 2 cups
- Eastern Meat masala - 3 tbsp (or use 2 tbsp coriander, 1 tsp chilly, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder)
- Tomato - 1 big chopped
- crushed masala - crushed(Crush together 3 cardamom,1/2 tsp of fennel/perum jeerakam, 2 cloves, 1/2 cm piece of cinnamon and 5/10 peppercorns)
- oil - 2 tbsp
Heat oil in a pan and add the onion, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chillies and fry until lightly browned.
Add in the Meat masala (coriander powder, chilly powder and turmeric powder) and saute .
Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes.
Add in the crushed masala and orka and stir fry for 5 minutes .
Cover and cook on a medium low flame until the okra is tender - about 5 minutes.
You might need to sprinkle some water if the mixture gets too dry.
Once the okra is cooked pour in the coconut milk and mix well and bring to a simmer.
Serve with rice.
Note :If all fails and you still don't like the vegetable it is just a personal preference - In other words, okra is slimy, get used to it :).