Monday, 3 June 2013

The Red and the Green

Okra & Cipolla allo Zenzero & Spezie "Tandoori"
Tandoori & Ginger Okra & Onion with Rice

Wonderful how two colors at opposite ends of the color scale can come together in one plateful of yumminess, don't you think? Fire-red Tandoori spice and bright-green okra were simply made for each other! Simply by adding some fragrant ginger and sweet onion, the mild and tender okra was transformed into a truly delicious yet simple meal in just 15 minutes- and that's got to be a good thing, right?

I love the tangy flavor of Tandoori spice and of course the color is always an eye-catcher, so it already seemed like a good idea... I wasn't anticipating the incredible orange that it would turn the onion mind you! The main thing again, as always, was the balance with this dish- okra is so mild in itself that it can handle plenty of spice, and with the added cayenne that I gave to the Tandoori and ginger, it all came together to be a pleasant and harmonious mix... my kinda food! 

This was an absolutely simple meal to make. The rice went into my rice cooker and in the 15 minutes it took to finish, I easily managed to prepare the okra. To make it, I finely chopped about 1" of fresh ginger, 1 clove of garlic and sliced 1 onion up relatively finely. I cut the okra on the diagonal in bite-sized chunks and sautéed everything together in a little clarified butter. Once the onion began to turn translucent, I added a teaspoon of chick-pea flour, a teaspoon of Garam Masala, a tablespoon of Tandoori powder and a little cayenne and stirred these all in thoroughly. 

I kept on stirring until the chick-pea flour really began to smell of chick peas (it actually will after a while!) and the Tandoori spice had developed it's full aroma, then seasoned with salt and pepper and deglazed the pan with just enough water to cover the surface- hiss! Suddenly, everything turned the most wonderful red, the onions a bright, vibrant yellow and the kitchen was filled with a wonderful aroma! Mmmm! I stirred and stirred until the okra began to thicken the water into a smooth sauce together with the chick-pea flour, but after a couple of minutes, this soon became absorbed as well as evaporating away and the okra was dry again. So I repeated the process with the water and let it cook down again... second time around, the sauce remaining was smoother still and a little thicker and by then the onion was soft, sweet and delicious and the okra just right- tender, with a slight bit of bite left to it- yum!

Together with the rice- a simple, and slightly exotic meal with next to no work. I like that! And I think you will too! 

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