Tell me something… do you feel cranky, irritated etc etc on some days that you (or the people around you) might wonder whether you woke up from the wrong side of the bed? How does your day go on such days? This Okra curry happened on one such day.
Since I wasnt very happy with “my attitude” for the day, I wanted to do something to cheer up myself and checking out my cookery books seemed like a good idea. If you haven’t noticed, awesome food pics releases so called “happy hormones” ;) So as I was going through this particular cookery book, I saw Okra Curry recipe and almost turned over the page instantly. Since Jose doesn’t like Okra, I never cook it. But then the “happy hormones” started working… I came back to the Okra recipe page. Suddenly a thought struck me.. why shouldn’t I cook something, just because my husband doesn’t like it? How come he can force me to eat the things I dont like (read fruits) saying that it’s healthy and I cant do the same to him. Last I heard, marriage is a two way street. Ok, that’s it, I’m making it and I dont care whether he likes it or not. I wrote Vendakka in Vendakka aksharam (Okra in bold letters) on top of my “to buy” list.
Ok, I need to tell you something else… if you are thinking Okra is my fav veggie and I miss eating it because of Jose,well… that’s not the case. Truth be told, I’m not a big fan of Okra myself. But if irritating somebody can bring you happiness and above all cheer you up, I think the statement”the end justifies the means” is apt here, you get what I mean, right ;) But the thing is I’ve often heard my friends saying that they miss cooking/eating some particular dish/ingredient because their spouse or kids dont like it.
I’ve often noticed that people who do the cooking at home, tend to cook something which is liked by others and sacrificing their own likes. I think it’s mainly because the best reward for cooking is seeing a smile on somebody’s face when they eat the food cooked by you. You dont want to be the reason for taking away that smile from their face. Another reason is… since cooking can be time consuming, you think of the hassle of cooking up different dishes and end up cooking the dish that’s preferred by your family.
So now you know what you should do when you feel cranky… cook something that you miss eating because it’s not enjoyed by your partner/kids. Next time you do grocery/veggie shopping buy that special ingredient and cook up a storm with it and enjoy. It’s ok to love yourself at times ;)
Btw, if you are newly married or at the beginning stage of your relationship, the above said things are not applicable for you. Because, for you “love is blind” now and you are in the “love and love” only stage :) Though the romantic dreamer in me wants to say that it will be like that forever, the realist in me says that sooner or later the day will come when you want to cook something just for yourself (it’s not an everyday thing, but it happens). Till then cook something which your family loves and make yourself rich with the most precious gift…. happy and smiling faces of your loved ones :)
OMG, I wrote this much and not a word about the okra curry, hhmmm… If you like Okra, you will enjoy this. It’s creamy with mildly spiced flavours and it’s a great side dish for roti’s/chappathi/appams etc. Give it a try and see for yourself…
Here you go…
Recipe adapted from Flavours of the Spice Coast by Mrs. K.M. Mathew
- Okra (Vendakka) - 150-200 gms, sliced 1" lengthwise
- Coriander powder - 1½ tsp
- Chilli powder - 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
- Pepper powder - ¼ - ½ tsp
- Aniseed (perumjeerakam) powder - ½ tsp
- Cinnamon - a small piece
- Cardamom pods - 2
- Cloves - 2
- Onion - 1 medium, finely sliced
- Ginger - 1 tsp, chopped
- Thin coconut milk - 1½ cup
- Thick coconut milk - ½ cup
- Chopped cashews - 1 tbsp (optional)
- Curry leaves
- Grind all the powders and whole spices to a fine paste, by adding 1- 1½ tbsp water. Heat oil in a pan and saute the sliced okra for a few mins and keep it aside.
- In the same pan, add the sliced onion and chopped ginger and curry leaves. Cook till the onions turn light golden brown in colour. Add the ground paste to this and cook for 2-3 mins or till the oil appears. Add thin coconut milk and let it boil.
- Add the okra and salt and simmer till the okra cooks and gravy thickens. Add the thick coconut milk and simmer for 3-4 more mins and remove from fire. Garnish with some freshly ground pepper, dont omit this. It enhances the flavour of the dish.
- If you are using cashews, soak it in hot water for 5-10 mins. Grind it to a smooth paste. Add this paste to the thick coconut milk and mix well and follow the rest of the recipe.