After so many months, I took to participating in the Shh Cooking Challenge this month. I have been wanting to participate ever since they started the challenge of cooking from Indian states – only doing Goa, but somehow or the other, I was not able to give in my name. First of all, I was on the phase of watching my eating, and secondly, my family at times are dicey with their food, if not always. So I was worried – if I cook something different and they won’t eat it, then what is the point in it appearing on the blog? When the declaration came on the group that it would be Kerala on the spotlight following the aftermath of the disastrous floods, I jumped into it. After all, it’s my state, and there is so much for me to explore of its own food! I was paired with Priya Iyer. She is a Bangalore based blogger, who blogs at “The World Through My Eyes” and it is my first time with her. We had a very warm interaction.
After a few initial discussions, she finalized on yogurt and okra aka ladysfinger for me. I have been wanting to make kichadi for quite long time. What is the difference between pachadi and kichadi, you may ask. Both are side dishes that feature on the sadya for sure and always get used up interchangeably. The major difference is that in pachadi – like this one with beetroot, coconut is used along with yogurt, while in kichadi, it is only yogurt used. Since it uses only yogurt, it looks like a raita. The okra is sliced as thinly and small as possible, so that it cooks faster. Try to char it a bit, as I feel charred okra imparts some lovely flavors. I kept the yogurt thick, though most of the time, you will kichadis are little flowy, so you can add water and beat your yogurt to make it that way. The tempering just pushes it up some notches and makes it totally delicious. With hardly any spices used, the vegetable shines and lends its deliciousness to this side dish.
Before I end this post, I would love to give credit for the pictures to my cousin, who is an amazing photographer himself – his hands recently featured in the Chocolate Banoffee Pie! 😉 He usually takes a lot of portraits, and I wasn’t in a mood to click, so I gave him the plated dish and the towel and asked him to click it for me. I am sure you would all agree that it is beautifully captured! 🙂 Also do check out what Priya has cooked with the secret ingredients I have given her!
If you are wondering what is the state of affairs back home, my parents say that it is really hot now. The rivers are back to looking their bare self now and the water in the wells have miraculously dropped down. Just wondering where did all that water go… :O Now it just looks like nothing ever happened, but for those who got affected by the floods, it truly wasn’t a good experience…
Vendakka Kichadi ~ Okra in Yogurt Sauce
- 400 gm okra
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cup thick yogurt
- Salt to taste
- FOR TEMPERING:
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2-3 dried red chillies
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- Wash the okra well and pat dry.
- Slice into small roundrels and spread on a kitchen towel to remove any excess liquid.
- Heat oil in a saucepan, add the chopped okra. Sprinkle with some salt and saute on low flame, uncovered, till wilted and well cooked. Allow to cool.
- Whisk the yogurt and salt till well blended. Add the cooked okra and mix well. Add water, if mixture looks too thick.
- Prepare tempering by heating oil till smoking hot. Splutter the mustard seeds. Briefly fry the curry leaves and dried chillies and immediately pour into the kichadi.
- Keep closed for five minutes.
- Mix well and serve as side for lunch.
As mentioned, this post is off to the Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge managed by Mayuridi...