One of the simplest curries to make, and it's delicious, no hint of any slimyness. I got my kids to eat okra when they were little with the same line my mom got us girls to eat it: it's brain food, and it'll make you a whiz at math. I don't know if it's true or not, but my kids love love love okra made this way, and won't let me make it any other way! It's a breeze to make, and is awesome mixed with rice, and a little ghee. Or as a side for rasam and rice, sambar and rice, yogurt rice, you get the drift...
This is one vegetable you must wash before cutting. One time, in my very very early days of cooking, I forgot to wash it before cutting, and thought nothing of washing it after. Big mistake! Slimy mess, and never repeated again 🙂
4handfulsfresh, tender okraSee notes for how to tell okra is tough
Wash the okra really well
Discard the ends, and chop in small roundlets/circles - not too thin, as it'll disintegrate when cooking, and not too thick
Heat oil in a kadai/vaanali
Add mustard seeds, and let them pop; add hing, turmeric
Add the okra, chili powder, and the salt, give the whole thing a good mix
Keep stir frying, until the okra changes color, in about 10-15 minutes, adding a bit of oil if needed. The okra will not get sticky when cooked on medium heat, stirred frequently like this.
It's done when the okra is fairly dry (no slime), but glistens with the oil has changed color to a darker green/brown
Turn off the heat; enjoy with a rice of your choice.
Must wash okra before cutting
If the knife doesn't cut through the okra easily, and you hear a crunch like you're cutting into a carrot or an onion, the okra is not tender. Discard the offending okra. Back home, people try to break the stem off when buying okra to test for tenderness - this habit is highly frowned upon by the vegetable sellers, and I never learned to test it this way. But after you've been buying okra for a while, you get a sense for tender okra.