Here’s my first recipe for Vegan MoFo – Recipe Wednesdays! (a day late but you’ll forgive me!)
I have been making this coconut okra for many years and it’s a favorite among my clients. This side dish complements Indian meals, especially those that come from the south, like sambar and dosa. With warm weather still here in Texas, okra is still in season. You say, “I don’t like okra…it’s slimy!” In this dish the okra stays nice and crisp and the initial mucilage helps grab on to the spices. One thing you can do to reduce the ooze is to always wash your okra and then dry thoroughly. Also use a dry cutting board and dry knife.
If you love coconut, you will adore this dish! It satisfies almost any dietary restriction as it doesn’t contain any of the top 8 common allergens and is vegan. It is also considered a sattvic dish from an Ayurvedic perspective as it does not contain garlic or onions.
Here are some of the spices you need: black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, urad dal, asafoetida and freshly shredded coconut. The urad dal and asafoetida (also known as hing) can be found in Indian stores/market. If you know how to shred fresh copra from a coconut, good for you! If you want some extra time, I suggest finding frozen shredded coconut. This is also available in the freezer section of Indian/Asian markets. They typical do not contain preservatives. One special hint for cooking Indian food that requires many different spices: measure them ahead of time, especially if you are working with hot oil. It will save you the frazzle time and keep black mustard seeds from popping all over the place!
South Indian Coconut Okra – Vegan MoFo
- 1 lb / 1 dry quart of organic okra
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp urad dal, split, unpeeled (omit if not available)
- 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
- pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut (fresh or frozen is best)
- salt to taste
- Wash and dry okra thoroughly with a tea towel.
- Cut off the tops and tips of the okra and slice into 1/2 inch rounds.
- Take a large skillet (I like cast iron) and heat to medium.
- Add the coconut oil and the urad dal and mustard seeds.
- When the mustard seeds start to turn gray, add the cumin and asafoetida.
- When the seeds start popping, add the okra and stir.
- Continue to stir to distribute the spices.
- Sprinkle the turmeric evenly over the okra and continue to cook for about 5 minutes on medium.
- When the okra is bright green and cooked (not soft) add the coconut.
- Remove from heat and mix well. Add salt to taste.
- Serve as a side dish to an Indian meal.
I was sent coconut oil by Kelapo some time ago and I have been happy with the quality. It is 100% organic, cold pressed and unrefined. You can find a lot of coconut oils out there with the same quality. What makes it special is that it is Fair For Life certified by the IMO Fair Trade Program. The coconut oil comes from farms in Sri Lanka and the Philippines. I personally like the fact that they have the option for amber glass packaging. I am continually trying to reduce the amount of plastic in my life, and having coconut oil in glass is wonderful.
Kelapo Coconut Oil Giveaway! I have 8 free samples (0.5 oz) to send out!
To enter, leave a comment and send out this post via the social network of your choice (I like Twitter or Pinterest), and get a special letter with the sample from me in the mail! The giveaway will last until next Wednesday, September 10th and I will pick winners randomly. I will contact you via email, so make sure your blog has a way to contact you.