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.

.

Showing posts with label tori. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tori. Show all posts

October 27, 2010

Is Chinese Okra, Okra's Distant Cousin?

If you read our post about Sweet and Sour Toast, then you will know the vegetable I will be cooking with today. Ah, yes...the infamous Chinese Okra.

In some ways, I believe Okra and Chinese Okra are related. If you look at them closely, they both have similar ridges on the surface. Do they have anything else in common?

I did some digging to find out what else they have in common. Unfortunately, my research only took me so far. Here are my results: they both have the word okra in their name and they have ridges. To further my disappointment, I found many recipes from various cultures for okra and not a lot for the other one. I thought because it is called Chinese Okra, it must be popular in China. However, my East Asian friends told me that it's not so. Even in India, this vegetable is not commonly found in the North; it's mostly available in South.

Man, this vegetable is so unappreciated.  😡 What a pity!  Lucky for us, we are South Indian and we know how to use this vegetable for its potential.

We have come up with 4 recipes and are excited to share them with you. We shared the first recipe with you back in September: Chinese Okra Chutney. Don't forget to read about it, if you haven't already.

The second one is quite interesting since it is made from the skin of the vegetable. You heard it correctly, I said SKIN and this recipe is mainly popular in Andhra Pradesh. So give it a try!

It is called Skintastic gourd with Lentils and the ingredients and procedure are listed below:


  • 3-4 medium Chinese okra (also known as Ridged gourd/Tori)
  • 1 big, chopped finely Onion
  • ½ cup Gram dal / channa dal
  • 2 Tbsp Grated coconut (dried)
  • ½ tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil

 Let's see how it's made


1) Wash squash thoroughly and cut the end and peel the ridges to remove strings (shown in video below). 





2) Now peel the green skin. The actual flesh inside can be saved and used for making another curry or chutney (shown in video below).




Cut the peel into 1-2 inch pieces and place them in the chopper and chop them coarsely.


OR


3) Transfer the coarse peel into a pressure cooker, add 2 cups of water, channa dal, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and pressure cook for 5-6 minutes. (Please Note: it can also be cooked in a saucepan on stove top until the dal is cooked but firm, might take 10 – 15 minutes.)



4) After pressure is relieved, open the lid and immediately strain the contents using a fine mesh strainer. Use a paper towel in the colander if fine mesh strainer is not available.

5) In a saucepan heat the oil on medium heat. Add mustard and cumin and allow them to crackle, then add onions and sauté them until transparent. Add chili powder and mix well. Now add the drained squash and channa dal and mix well. Place a lid and cook for few minutes (approx. 5 minutes).


6) Add coconut powder and mix well.Then you are ready to remove from the stove. Serve it hot with rice or rotis.


September 27, 2010

Sweet And Sour Toast

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he mentioned having an Okra smoothie for breakfast. He said it was delicious and very healthy. I took his word for it and made sure not to ask for the recipe. He's a bit of a health nut, so he is always on the lookout for nutritious meals. I'm not saying I'm into unhealthy stuff but I cross the line at green gooey shakes.  My usual day starts with toasted wheat bread and a glass of orange juice.

So on one of  my daily breakfast sit downs, it hit me. My breakfast meal is already healthy but it lacks pizazz. Then my mom told me that she also eats toast in the morning but tops off it off with some chutney.  She said that she was sick of eating it with peanut butter or jelly everyday. That's an interesting idea, I thought.  

And so I present to you my new breakfast item:  Toast with Chinese Okra Chutney

Chinese Okra
Ingredients:
- 3 Chinese okra/ Tori / Squash, approx. 8-10” long
- 1 tbsp of Tamarind pulp, (use the bottled brand)
- 1 tbsp of Peanut butter
- 2 tbsp of Idli podi*
- 1 tsp Salt, or as needed
- Half tbsp of Brown sugar
- 2 Green chilies

Procedure:
Peel the squash and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Then cut the chilies into two pieces. Saute the squash along with green chilies in a sauce pan along with salt and turmeric until soft. Set aside to cool. In a blender or food processor blend the squash mix along with all other ingredients listed.  Adjust the salt and sweetness as desired. It tastes great as a spread on toasted bread slices because it has the sweet and sour flavors blended together in one. And you can serve it with hot rice/ rotis or use it as a chutney or relish with any appetizers.


*If idli podi is not available the following powder can be used as a substitution. In tablespoon oil roast 2tbsp coriander seeds (dhania), 2 red chilies and 2 tbsp chana dal. Powder them to a coarse grain along with salt.