February 16, 2011

Bendekai Saaru/ Okra Curry

This is a pleasant lentil curry with roasted crunchy okra. It can be made plain, with just dal, onion and tomatoes, or with a variety of other vegetables like potatoes, beans, carrots.
What I used: Serves 4
½ cup thogri bele (toor dal, yellow or orange)
1 medium tomato diced
1 medium onion diced
1 cup okra diced into 1 inch or longer chunks
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp tamarind paste or 1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sugar
½ tsp hing
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
For tempering: 
1tsp ghee/oil, ½ tsp each – mustard and cumin seeds, 3 or 4 curry leaves and whole red chilies.

Soak the dhal in enough water for 30 minutes. In a pan/pressure cooker pan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the dhal, onions and tomatoes. Let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat. You may also give it a pressure cook for 10 minutes.
While the dhal is cooking, in a medium saucepan, roast the cut okra in a tsp of oil until they are golden brown. Set aside on a plate.
In the same pan, add ghee. On medium heat, add mustard and cumin seeds. When they splatter, add curry leaves and red chilies. Completely lower the heat. Add the curry powder, salt, sugar and hing. Add the tamarind paste or lime juice.  Give it a stir, to get rid of any lumps, when the ghee and powder combine, add a little dhal water, and let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Bring the heat back up to medium. Add the dhal and cook for 5 minutes.  Now toss in the roasted okra, and cook for another few minutes. Don’t let the okra get soft and soggy. Serve with soft cooked rice. Enjoy!