The wonderful thing about this recipe is that the okra can be cooked in the microwave, giving you the freedom to multi-task or relax while it cooks.
Note: To select tender okra, snap the tip off with your fingers. If the tip snaps and breaks off, the okra is tender. If it doesn't, it is fibrous.
For measurements and the list of ingredients for the recipe, please refer to Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen.
Rinse and dry okra with paper towels. Trim the ends and cut into 3/4-inch pieces.
Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add the red chilies.
Note: Whole red chilies are added for flavor. They are not meant to be eaten.
When the chilies turn dark, add mustard seeds and cover with a lid until the spluttering subsides.
Uncover and stir in cumin seeds. When cumin seeds sizzle, add curry leaves.
As soon as curry leaves are crisp, add the chopped onion.
Saute onion until translucent. Stir in okra.
After the addition of okra to the pan, you can transfer the whole mixture to a microwave safe dish.
Cook in the microwave in 5 minute-intervals for 15-20 minutes (depending on how much okra you are cooking), uncovered at full power, stopping and stirring once or twice after every 5-minute interval. During the last minute of cooking, mix in salt, turmeric and cayenne.
Alternative: To continue cooking on the stove, stir in okra, salt, turmeric, and cayenne in the wok or skillet. Reduce heat to medium and fry until okra is cooked for about 20-25 minutes while stirring occasionally.
Serve as a side dish to any meal.
For more recipes, table setting ideas and gardening tips from the author of Entertaining From an Ethnic Indian Kitchen, check out Komali Nunna's blog.