Baby Okra and Peanut Stir Fry

Like okra, but not a fan of slime? Here are my three tips to keep slime to a minimum: 1) Stir fry over as high a temperature as possible. 2) Use tender baby okra (if you can find them). 3) Keep the okra whole instead of slicing them.

This recipe uses all three tips :) It goes well  with pretty much any Indian meal. But I like it best with rice flavored with fried onions and cumin and a big bowl of dhal (lentils). I’ll post my quick InstantPot recipes of both next week.


1/4 cup oil (more or less)
6-8 curry leaves (optional)
2 packets of frozen baby okra*
1 large onion, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 cup grated coconut (fresh or dry)
1–2 tsp sambhar powder, depending on how spicy you want it (there are many brands; I use Sakthi or MTR)
salt to taste

In a heavy bottomed or non stick dutch oven, heat the oil till almost smoking hot. Add curry leaves, frozen okra, and salt. Stir till all of the okra is well coated with oil and salt. Cover. (Using a dutch oven provides the steam needed to zap the slime without making the okra mushy.)

Reduce heat to medium high. Stir every two or three minutes. Cook till water from frozen okra is evaporated. (The more oil you use, the quicker the process).

Add rest of the ingredients and cook uncovered, stirring every few minutes, till okra turns dark green and is slime-free.

* You may use mature, sliced okra that’s frozen–it just takes a bit longer to de-slime. If using fresh okra, begin with medium high heat and reduce to medium heat heat, and add rest of the ingredients when the fresh okra is half-cooked.

Chickpea Croquettes

I usually make my croquettes with leftovers–rice, beans, soy meat and whatever else I can find in the refrigerator. I also usually bake my croquettes. But this evening I didn’t have the time to bake; besides, my leftovers had disappeared.

So, I created this new recipe. I deep-fried these to save time–which means ten times the calories,  but also means at least triple the deliciousness.chick-pea-croquettes


2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and coarsely processed with 1/2 cup water
1  1/2 cup chickpea flour
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup veggie burger (Sanitarium Casserole Mince or Worthington Vegeburger*)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix together. Shape into 3-inch logs. Deep fry till golden. I served mine with garlic stir-fried asparagus,  mashed potatoes, and  gravy.

*Morningstar Crumbles work well too. But they contain some egg white

stir-fried green beans

3 cups chopped green beans, chopped in thin slices
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 Tbsp sesame seeds and/or sunflower seeds
1 cups nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews work well)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated coconut
a pinch of baking soda
salt to taste

Heat oil in skillet. Add all the ingredients to the oil together. Stir fry over medium-high heat, stirring continuously until beans are tender.

garam masala fried rice

This is a uniquely flavored fried rice without the traditional soy sauce. It is infused with Indian spices to give the dish a hint of garam masala without the spicy bite. If you’re looking for a more traditional recipe, try this one.

1/2 cup oil
6 inches of cinnamon stick
6 whole cardamoms
6 whole cloves
3 large bay leaves
3 cups chopped vegetables of your choice*
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)**
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
4 cups cooked rice

Heat oil. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and bay leaves. Stir for about 30 seconds. Add rest of the ingredients, except rice. Stir occasionally and cook till vegetables are tender and crisp. Gently stir in rice.

* This time I used onions, carrots, snap peas, cauliflower, bok choy , green onions, and celery. Other possibilities: baby corn, mushroom, broccoli,  cabbage, baby spinach, bamboo shoot, etc.

**Kidney beans can be replaced with cooked meat or chopped nuts.

kale and portabella stir fry

It’s been a blah couple of days. Fighting a cold. No appetite. Nauseous. I wanted something bland. So I threw in some kale, portabella mushrooms, onions and a bit of garlic into a wok. The light blend of veggies on some steamed riced was just what I needed today. I’m feeling much better now that my tummy’s happy.

4 cups, chopped kale
1 cup, chopped portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp olive hot
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a wok. Throw in all the veggies. Stir fry over medium high heat for about three minutes.

super easy chilli

(See note at the bottom for non-vegetarian version)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 15 oz cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 Tbsp coriander powder
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
salt to taste

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottom and cook over medium heat for 3 hours until thick and chunky. Or cook in crock pot 8 to 10 hours on low. Serve with sharp cheddar and sour cream (None for vegans, of course). Garnish with fresh cilantro

(To convert half of this to a non-vegetarian chili: In hot skillet, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 pound ground meat, 1 tsp garlic, 3 Tbsp chopped onions, 1 tsp cumin, salt and pepper. Cook till done. Add this to half the chili just before serving.)