June 9, 2011

Okra Stir-fry — Vendakka Upperi

I’ve penciled in bright sunshine and hot weather across my calendar for June, July and August. As much as I love summer that brings life, color and sparkle to the beautiful nature, I’m too hot and wilted these days, and yearning for some magical moments — some fun and joy to take my breath away. Sigh.

You are probably sick of hearing me talk about rain by now, but honestly, I’m thinking of rain. Ahhh, rain....the kind that battles against the door inviting me to step outside, get wet, toss my care, be spontaneous, splash puddles, and wash my problems away. In a desperate attempt to feel fresh and alive again; to be liberated. And then, I will not mind embracing this heat and warmth, with a renewed sense of energy. It’s a nice feeling to experience—you know what I mean?

Okay, maybe it sounds a little crazy. Really?







It’s been an incredibly busy week so far, every minute packed with activity, mostly in the running of the house as my husband is out of town. Juggling tasks in the heat of summer, wishing I could cut my to-do list short, I’ve also been in a ‘no heavy cooking’ mode lately. Ha, the perfect excuse to stay away from the warmth of the hob!

The weekend is going be busy too — it will be a wonderful occasion to spend some quality time with family and staff members, celebrating the success of our family business. Enjoying good food, sharing stories, bonding a lot, great fun times and laughs, and living in the moment. And of course, taking lots of snapshots to treasure the memories, emotions and good times. Can you hear how excited I am?
 
That’s the highlight of the week. But there’s something I forgot to share with you from last week. A simple moment of happiness. What a pleasant surprise it was to learn that my watermelon shake photo received the best photo award in the May edition of the Kerala Kitchen hosted by the sweet Sarah of Spoonful of Delight. Since food photography is a fairly new concept to me, I’m always thrilled to receive positive feedback on my pictures — it leaves me inspired to improve my work.

Today is Thursday, the weekend. My husband will be back tonight and I have a bit of catching up to do. In the meanwhile, let me leave you with a hearty stir-fry dish from Kerala, using this love me or hate me veggie, okra.

Okra is commonly known as ladies’ finger in India, and vendakka in Malayalam. Not many people are fond of this veggie due to its gooey, glutinous texture from cooking. Forget others, I myself do not enjoy okra cooked this way. To avoid sliminess, I pat dry the veggie after rinsing, and then stir-fry it in a bit of oil, uncovered, until a soft, crunchy texture is reached. Adding a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar also helps control slime.
So, here’s a simple and easy side to be served with steamed rice. And best of all no spending too much time near the hob.

But before I hop to the recipe, let me warn you that I don’t have any good shots of the cooked dish. I was so obsessed clicking the ingredients using a burlap for a rustic feel that by the time the dish was ready, I was in no mood for more styling. Sorry!

Okra stir-fry — Vendakka Upperi

Ingredients

3 cups okra, rinsed, dried, trimmed and sliced
1 cup onion, halved and sliced
2-3 green chilies, halved and slit lengthwise
10 curry leaves
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 1/2  tablespoon oil (oil is needed to minimize sliminess)
salt, to taste
 
Directions

In a non-stick frying pan or wok, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add mustard seeds and fry until they start to pop, about 30 seconds. Tip in fresh curry leaves, green chili and onion. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in okra and toss gently until combined. Cook, over low heat, uncovered, for 8 minutes or until the okra has softened. Season. 


Server hot with fish curry and steamed rice.

41 comments:

  1. Okra stir fry looks delicious.. nice clicks..

    Sunanda's Kitchen

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  2. fry looks wonderful and delicious !!

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  3. Okra fry looks delicious ..... luvly clicks !

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  4. Okra stir fry looks so yummy. As it is okra is my favourite veggie. You have made it perfectly.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  5. Vendakka upperi ente favorite, I made yesterday as thoran my little one like it.

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  6. healthy and delicious looking stir fry... Love it with rasam saadam...

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  7. Okra fry is my favorite,love this with sambar and rice,perfect and tempting upperi..

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  8. Quick and delicious stir fry, will love to have with some rice and rasam..

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  9. no mood for styling?! ur okra dish looks awesome! I dont like okra for the same reason that you mentioned. Thanks for the tip! will try it your way next time :) Love the rustic feel in the pics of the ingredients :) And your tiny bottle of mustard seeds is so cute!

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  10. okra looks delicious..simple and yummy dish..lovely clicks..

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  11. Yummy and easy fry....beautiful clicks...

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  12. deliciously done love stir fried okra we add some tomatoes and it gives a nice taste as well
    lovely pictures

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  13. wonderfull clicks....

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  14. my all time fav..looks so tempting! great clicks too..

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  15. My mouth is watering, this looks so tempting.

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  16. Venda my fav veg. Simply delicious!

    Cheers..
    Rinku
    Rinku's Kitchen Treats -Today's special- Kinnathappam

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  17. I love anything with okra. Beautiful stir-fry..and the pics are amazing..

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  18. It s a simple dish but the presentation needs a loud applause!!!

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  19. Confess that I dislike vendakkai, but the pics make them look really good. And how come the mustard seeds look cute?

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  20. THis dish looks Perfect Nash. It doesn't seem like food photography is a fairly new concept to you.. :) I will be eagerly checking my dashboard to see whether you have posted any new recipes, just for the amazing clicks. You rock girl.
    Nash, I am from Kottayam and my Husband is from Kochi, Kaloor. BTW I think you are from Kochi?

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  21. Wonderful photography! Master piece!

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  22. I love ur photography dear...looks sooperb all d clicks...lovely curry..

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  23. Delicious okra curry,congratulations on the well deserved win.

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  24. Congratulations on your award! You deserve it dear!
    Okra stir fry looks very tasty!

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  25. Yummy yummy!! Love the presentation very much.

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  26. Congratulations and celebrations :P enjoy!!!
    visual treat of snaps. mouthwatering dish! love simple preparations anytime!

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  27. That bowl of bhindi fry looks so delicious ~ I could pick it up and snack on it :)
    Loved the rustic look in your pics..
    US Masala

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  28. Beautiful clicks nash , please teach me some , the vendaka looks gorgeous :)

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  29. Wow! I'm always impressed with your amazing pics. Mouth-watering clicks!

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  30. congrats for ur prize.........u really deserve it.......nd the vendakka upperi looks yummy........

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  31. Not a big fan of Okra at all but stir fry okra looks nice and something I make at times :) You have a happy relaxing and fun weekend.

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  32. Okra in any form I m in :) looks flavourful making it perfect to go with rice

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  33. Hi Dear, I'm happy to give an award to your lovely blog. You can check it at http://tastejunction.blogspot.com/2011/06/reposting-for-event-and-award.html
    Plz. acknowledge receiving it!!

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  34. Beautiful clicks gal!!! wats ur real name btw?

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  35. i love it...nice presentation and clicks...recipe is always loved by me....

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  36. Yum, this looks so interesting! I've never actually cooked with okra myself, although I've had it at restaurants and really enjoyed it. Great recipe!

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  38. Hello folks, thanks so much for stopping by to say hello -- much, much appreciated! Cheers!

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  39. Your pics are stunning as always..I can keep looking at it forever..amazing work..and coming back to the dish..okra is my favorite veggie and love this in any form..this stir fry looks simply delicious!

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  40. Stir fried Okra with yellow lentils is my husband's favorite. If I have to get something done all I need to do is just make some Okra or rajma chawal :-)
    Thanks for sharing your version!

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi