Okra in Coconut Milk - the best gravy for Kerala Appam
I like to experiment with new veg gravies for my lunch. I make them, eat them and then ask Deeps to taste them when he is back home for the day. If he likes them, then the dish features in our regular menu. If he doesn't like it and it's only me who has fallen for the recipe, then it is made for my lunch at times. This is one such dish which I found while googling, from a dear blogger buddy Julie at 'Erivum Puliyum'. And the best part is I finished the whole gravy at lunch itself not leaving anything for Deeps to taste even ;)
I love coconut milk in my gravies. They have a mild taste yet feels so rich and tasty and they are very light on the tummy as well. It is much easier to prepare also, if you are using coconut milk powder. The curry will be ready in a jiffy. But if you are extracting milk from freshly grated coconut, then it is a slightly different story. It may take an extra 15 minutes. But I always vouch for homemade dishes from scratch. There is an un-doubting taste and freshness and authenticity in those dishes that can never be replaced with short cuts.
And although I had this gravy with rice, with every mouth that I took, I had that inner voice telling me at the back of my head that this is going to taste just awesome with Appam, as this curry tastes like a cousin of our regular Vegetable Stew. I have that in mind, sometime soon I am going to try that combo :) If you are looking for some easy fast recipes for lunch at home or for your lunch dabba to office, do try this out. I am sure you will not regret :)
Recipe Source: Adapted from here
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves : 2-3 persons
|Vendakka/Ladies Finger||-||10 nos|
|Coconut Oil||-||2 tbsp|
|Cinnamon||-||An inch piece|
|Green Chilly||-||2 nos - slited|
|Ginger||-||1 tsp - chopped|
|Onion||-||1 no - medium sized - sliced|
|Turmeric powder||-||½ tsp|
|Red Chilly powder||-||1 tsp|
|Curry leaves||-||A sprig|
|Coconut Milk - Thick||-||1 cup|
|Coconut Milk - Thin||-||1.5 cups|
|Lemon juice||-||1 tbsp|
|Coconut Oil||-||3 tbsp|
|Mustard seeds||-||¼ tsp|
|Shallots||-||4-5 nos - sliced|
|Curry Leaves||-||A sprig|
1. Rinse and clean the ladies finger in water. Chop off the edges and cut them into 2 inch length pieces or bite sized pieces as per your preference.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the cut ladies finger pieces and saute them for about 3-4 minutes till the stickiness of the ladies finger goes away.Once done transfer to another plate/bowl and keep them aside.
3. If preparing coconut milk from fresh coconut, grind coconut with water (as required) and extract the thick and thin coconut milk and keep aside. If using instant coconut milk powder, add the powder in warm water (as mentioned in the packet), prepare the thin and thick milk and keep aside.
4. Heat oil in a pan/kadai. Add the whole spices - cinnamon and cloves. Keep the flame in low or medium. After about a minute add the chopped ginger and green chillies. Saute for about half a minute.
5. Add the sliced onions and saute till it turns translucent. No need to make it brown.
6. Now add curry leaves, salt, turmeric powder and red chilly powder and saute well for about 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes off.
7. Now add the sauteed ladies finger and give a nice stir.
8. Add the thin coconut milk and give a stir. Cover and cook till the ladies finger is cooked. This may take abut 6-7 minutes.
9. Now add the lemon juice (is optional) and adjust salt if needed.
10. Once the ladies finger is cooked, add in the thick coconut milk. Give a quick and nice stir. Switch off flame.
11. In another pan (tadka pan) heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Add in the chopped shallots and curry leaves. Saute till the shallots turn light brown in colour. Take care not to burn them. Add the tempering to the gravy and give a nice stir.
Serve hot with Appam / Idiyappam / Steamed Rice & Fish Fry :)