Thursday, 1 November 2012

South Indian Okra in a Yogurt and Coconut sauce.

This is a realy good dish if you need introducing to okra, becuse of the sauce, it is sweet and sour and rich with coconut. It really is so delicious.

I am not exactly sure of this dishes actual name because a friend has kindly given this recipe. My friend is from kerala and is not to sure on how to write in english.

Last week she invited me over for lunch and she had heard about me blogging about real indian food. She said that she could remember me saying one time in her favourite restaurant, that I would've liked to of recreated the thali that we enjoyed on that particular day. She was going to be cooking this dish anyway for her family so she remembered about me :-) Of cause i was overjoyed to receive the invitation and I gladly accepted.

I decided to walk to her house because it was quite a nice day, one of those days where it is cold and crisp, but a nice bright sun. Once I had arrived at the end of her street I could smell her food! It reminded me of one of those cartoons where the hungry animal gets a whiff of some delicious food and floated it the air to follow the scent :-) As i walked up her garden path the fabulous aroma got stronger and stronger and even more delicious. She must have seen me coming to the door, because she opened the door before I could even knock. She greeted me with open arms and said come in, come in! I walked into her kitchen and it was full of her female relatives. They were all busy doing something, Her Mother was grinding some batter for dosa, her sister was kneading some bread, and there was some of her aunts and cousins there too. It was a kind of organised kaos. She called me over to the cooker and firstly asked if they could get me anything to drink. Her aunt gave me a cup of chai (Indian tea) and my friend and I sat down for a chat.
When we had finished our chai she said to me that we should get on, she handed me a pen and paper and she said that as a gift for being a good friend, she was handing me this recipe that had been through her family for a very long time. I could thank enough, but she just kindly replied " just invite me round for tea" I love her so much! Thanks hun! :-)

Here is my friends beautifully simple, South Indian Okra recipe.


2 cups of fresh okra, washed and dried, cut into 1/2 inch flowers
1/2 cup of fresh yogurt (dahi)
1/2 cup freshly grated, frozen or desiccated coconut. If you are using desiccated coconut then you should soak in boiled water for about 1/2 hour, reserving the coconut water.
3 tbs oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
10-12 curry leaves,
1/2- 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder,
1/2 tsp green chilli paste,
water - as required.
salt to taste,
1 1/2- 3 tsp sugar- as per your taste,
fresh green coriander to garnish.


1) Heat some oil in a pan and fry the okra on a low to medium heat until browning at the edges and all of the sliminess has disappeared. Make sure that you don't keep stirring the okra otherwise it will become really slimy and not very nice. Drain on kitchen paper.

2) In a blender, or with a hand blender, mix together the yogurt, red chilli powder, coconut, salt and sugar. Blend until you have a fairly cause paste.

3) Check the seasoning and add sufficient water, but not too much. Test again.

4) Heat a saucepan over a medium to hot heat and add the mustard seeds. Wait until they pop and then add the curry leaves. Let them splutter and then add the okra and sauce.

5) Reheat gently up to boiling point and then serve hot with chapatis and rice, or as part of your favorite thali

Sev Mumra recipe (chickpea vermicelli and puffed rice) Or simply sev, or simply mumra!

Sev mumra is one of those things that you never really think to cook, because I must admit that the shop bought stuff is actually delicious. So for years I have probably spent a small fortune on the stuff.

One of my friends came over for a catch up one day and came with a bag full of homemade sev mumra that she had left over from the weekend. We filled a big bowl full and we sat and nattered and nibbled on this wonderful snack. I said to her that it was the best I had ever tasted by far! She then told me that it was actually home made and one of the easiest things that they prepare in their house. They even prepare this after their main meal is ready, that is if you have some sev already prepared.
It is that easy!! Any way you really must try it, it really is too good to miss!!

Ingredients for the sev:-

1 cup of chickpea flour, (besan)
a pinch of turmeric,
a tsp oil,
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
a tiny pinch of hing,
a pinch of baking soda.
Water as needed.
1/2 tsp of salt

Tip!! You need a sev maker to proceed!


1) Prepare a pan of oil and heat it over a medium heat. There oil should be a few inches deep to cover the sev as it is cooking.

2) Grease the sev maker inside and around the lid and screw. (This just helps with the cleaning)

3) Mix together the above ingredients ensuring that the oil gets well incorporated.

4) Slowly add the water and mix until you have a very sticky batter. It should not be runny, but it definitely doesn't want to be hard, otherwize your sev won't turn out very good.

5) Once you are happy with the batter, check to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small drop of batter into the oil and if it sizzles to the top straight the way then the oil is ready. ( also make sure that it is not too hot either otherwise it will taste burnt.)

6) Fill the sev maker with the batter by using a spoon and screw up the lid. Then gently turn the handle over the oil, using circular movements so that the sev almost looks like lace, or if you remember what one looks like a spirograph pattern. :-)(showing my age!) When you have got enough sev in your pan, turn the handle in the other direction to stop the flow of batter.

7) Cook until the oil calms down and then turn the whole thing over to cook the other side.

8) Again cook until the oil calms down and drain onto a piece of kitchen paper.
Repeat the process until you have used up all of your batter.

You can enjoy sev on it's own like this, or use it as a topping for chaats... or you can proceed to make sev mumra!!


6 cups of puffed rice (Mumra)
7-10 fresh curry leaves,
1/2 - 1 tsp homemade chilli paste,
1/2 tsp homemade garlic paste,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tbs oil,
a large pinch of salt.


1) Heat the oven to the lowest temperature that your oven will go to.

2) In a large, clean roasting tin, mix in all of the above ingredients together thoroughly.

3) Pop the tray into the oven and after about 10 minutes, take them out of the oven and give everything another good stir. You must make sure that your sev does not burn.

4) Repeat this process another 2 times. the sev should only need about 25 minutes in total.

5) Once your mumra is ready, it needs to be cooled down to room temperature.

6) This is actually quite nice nike this to, but i like to mix it with some of the above sev. Just mix to your liking! ENJOY!!!

Feel free to leave your tips and feedback, it is always very welcome! :-) :-) :-)