13 November 2010

Okra with coconut rice

Plenty keeps on giving. Okra with coconut rice looked just the part for the grizzly weather and early dark. It's a fairly simple recipe - you make a sambal paste and fry it, add cooked okra and serve with coconut rice. That's it.

For the sambal - plenty of red shallots, fresh red chilli (I used the long Indian ones that are available pretty widely) salt and a touch of garlic enter the magimix for a spin. The cook is also instructed to add 'dried red chilli' which I found a bit of a vague description, chillies varying so hugely as they do. In the end I went for what seemed like a sensible amount and added a couple of small hot ones and a large long Mexican type one I had in store. Once blitzed the paste is fried.

It slowly browns as the shallots cook and begins to smell very savoury. After ten minutes tamarind water (just sticky tamarind from a block soaked in boiling water) and sugar are added and that's the paste done.

Meantime, make the coconut rice. This is just basmati rice cooked with coconut, ginger slices and lime leaves. When the rice is cooking cook the okra for a minute or two until just done but not slimy. Ottolenghi suggests using small Egyptian okra and I followed his suggestion by getting a frozen pack which had already been trimmed. To make the food go a bit further I added squash here too which worked well and provided variety. When everything is nearly ready combine and that's it! Put fried shallots, lime, chopped coriander and (my suggestion) nam pla on the table to spruce things up.

It's a cracker. Be liberal with the extra bits at the end as it needs that extra poke in the bottom to really shine.


  1. Lovely stuff. I am a huge fan of okra. So slimily wonderful.

  2. Yeah okra is a winner. I don't mind the slime but some fools do...