STUFFED OKRA BOATS

Stuffed Okra Boats

Remember those rainy days of childhood , when it poured & poured , yet you never fretted a single second, coz’ you had plans up your sleeve…yes, Paper Boats!!!! Don’t we all love them, doesn’t it bring a smile to think about the number of times you have sneaked past an elder with the day’s newspaper, with the juiciest of news, only to go & hide in your secret corner to make paper boats, what if the base was not firm & the boat toppled over, so you sneaked some more fresh newspaper.Then you sat on the floor designing one paper boat after another & as you grew the boats became more colorful & could carry gooseberries & leaves from your garden from your back yard to your front yard in that gushing water, even if that was the longest journey they made in their life span, your heart swelled with pride b’coz you engineered the boat into “being” smile emoticon Happy carefree days, when all you needed was some paper to color your imagination….
It’s been pouring here the past few days, torrential rains….something about the rains that GETS to you…..all memories you hold dear come floating by , like the paper boats & the Fall leaves sure add color to your imagination, so here I was creating Okra boats in my kitchen…..never let your dreams sink, so what if it is in different waters, the joy is, in floating your boat ,so cherish every moment smile emoticon

Ingredients:
Okra/Ladies finger- 15- 20 ( cleaned & dried free of moisture)
Oil- 1-2 tbsp
Onion- 1 medium( finely sliced)
Tomato- 1 (cubed)
Garlic cloves- 2-3 ( crushed fine)
Chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala pwd- 1tsp
Turmeric pwd- a pinch
Coriander pwd- 1/2 tsp
Amchur ( sun -dried mango) pwd-1 tsp
Peanuts- 1 tbsp ( finely powdered)
Lemon juice- 1 tsp
Salt- to taste

Stuffed Okra/Bhendi Boats
Stuffed Okra/Bhendi Boats

Method:
To prepare the masala:
1.Warm 1 tsp of oil, add the garlic cloves, & onions & sauté till golden brown.
2.Now to this add the cut tomato & cover with lid after stirring so it becomes soft & mushy.
3.Then add all the spice powders one by one stirring it continuously until the raw smell disappears.
4.Then add the ground powder of peanuts to give that nutty flavor( which makes it heavenly, if you like “Nuts” wink emoticon grin emoticon )
5.Add lemon juice at the end to give it that citrusy flavor to it.

For the stuffing:
1.Clean the Okra/Ladies finger & dry it on a paper towel or kitchen towel to keep it free of moisture.
2.In a frying pan ( for shallow frying) warm the oil, mean while cut the end of the Okra & nip the tips gently.Then make a vertical slit on one side of the Okra, running lengthwise but not through it ( more like a vertical slit to stuff the masala/spices)
3.When the oil is warm gently sauté the Okra, so it becomes firm instead of the slimy gooey kind which we are so familiar with.
4.Now gently stuff the masala/spices in the vertical slits taking care not to push it to the other side of the okra, thus tearing it.( You may wait, till the warm Okra’s cools down a bit, to do the stuffing )
5.Gently place them in the pan once more, shallow fry them , with the masala/spice side on top, that way the un-split side gets nice & browned , while the spices on the split side get cooked in the heat.
6.Gently remove from heat & serve hot as a starter or as a side with rice & dhal, makes a yummy rainy day treat.
Enjoy floating your boat, in your gastric juices, you will love every bit of it smile emoticon

Note: The Amchur ( sun dried mango powder is added to give it the tartness)

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