Nobody makes Turai Ki Sabzi like my Mom! She has a talent for taking the most ordinary ingredients and turning them into food gold! By itself, Turai or Chinese Okra is fairly neutral tasting and considered pretty 'boring' by most people. Made well however, it can become the main dish of a meal and prove very satisfying! This is the North Indian style of cooking Turai...
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 1/2 kg or roughly 1 lb of Turai/ Chinese Okra prepped as described above
- 3 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Saunf/ fennel seeds
- 2 dry red chillies, broken into small pieces (optional but gives the dish a nice 'kick')
- 2 large onions, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp garlic paste/ finely chopped garlic
- 2 large tomatoes chopped fine
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- Salt to taste
Turai needs a bit of prep before you can actually cook it since the entire vegetable has hard ridges on its surface. After washing and patting each Turai dry, the way I prepare it is by cutting off each Turai's top and 'tail' and then using a vegetable peeler to 'scrape' off the hard ridges. I leave on the skin between the ridges as it is quite soft. This done, I cut the Turai into circular, disc-shaped pieces, roughly 1 third of an inch thick. Now we're ready to cook...
- Set up a wok or kadhai on medium heat. When the wok hot, add the cooking oil to it and heat.
- To the hot oil, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Allow them to splutter. When the spluttering stops, add the dry red chilli pieces and sauté for 30 seconds. The chillies will turn a slightly darker color.
- Now add the sliced onions and sauté them till they are soft. The onions give the dish a characteristic 'sweetness'. Do not brown the onions as they will lose this sweetness. Stir frequently while sautéing the onions, to prevent them from burning.
- Add the garlic paste/ chopped garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Now add the tomatoes and sauté till they begin to turn soft and pulpy.
- Add all the spices, season with salt to taste and stir well. Sauté this mixture (masala) till the oil begins to separate from it. This shows that the masala is cooked.
- Now add the Turai 'discs' you prepared earlier. Sprinkle with water and stir well to ensure the pieces are nicely coated with the masala.
- Cook till the Turai is soft but not pulpy (al dente!). Stir often while cooking to prevent burning. If you find, during the process that the dish is turning dry, feel free to sprinkle a little water to aid the cooking. The end result should be a fairly dry dish.
- Serve Turai Ki Subzi with Chapatis and your favorite Daal.