The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including Gluten Free dishes.

January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolution - Veggie Delight!

Each new year we start off with a new list of resolutions and one that usually tops the list is eating more healthy and staying fit. That means, less junk and more nutritious meals. We know more than ever how hard it is to keeping up with those resolutions through the course of the year. That is why, we are constantly coming up with more and more recipes to keep you on track without sacrificing the taste of your meals.

Furthermore, there are a lot of products that are designed to keep calories down with the help of diet drinks, bar and cereals. However, it's important to balance your diet plan with vegetables to make sure you are getting the necessary nutrients. One of those vegetables is Okra.
It is low in calories and has a good source of many nutrients including vitamin B6 and C, fiber, calcium, and folic acid (according to http://www.everynutrient.com/healthbenefitsofokra.html). We make curries with this vegetable quite often and recently discovered that adding crushed peanuts makes it even more tasty.

Ingredients for Nutty Okra:
- 1.5 lb of Fresh Okra (also known as bhindi/lady fingers)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- ½ cup of Roasted peanuts,  (coarsely ground)
- ½ tsp of Chili powder 
- ½ tsp of Jeera (cumin seeds) 
- 3 tbsp of Vegetable oil
- ½ tbsp of Salt  (or as needed)

Procedure:
1) Wash and dry the okra very well between towel folds or allow it to dry in open air for 15-20min. Chop the ends of the okra and make it into quarters lengthwise.
2) Heat oil on medium heat in a non-stick pan (saucepan) and add jeera. When they sizzle, add okra and mix well. Close the pan with a lid and allow the okra to soften for 5-6 min (stir in between).
3) When okra is cooked (the color will change from bright green to dull green color), remove the lid and pan fry the okra for 5-6 min mixing frequently (add 1 tbsp oil if needed) until the oil comes out. Now add chili powder and salt and mix well for 1-2 min followed by the peanut powder.
 
4) Mix the contents and transfer into a serving dish. This can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish with hot rice or rotis.
Quick Tip: Salt is added after the vegetable is cooked to avoid gooeyness. 

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