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Friday, November 22, 2013

Indian Style Winged Beans and Okra with Curry Leaves

South Indian Style Winged Beans Okra Curry Leaves

Winged beans has become an obsession of sorts lately. It'll pass. I'm sure I'll grow out of it soon. But until then, it is fun to cook it up in ways that is particularly appealing to the cook.

Okra and winged beans come together for a mildly spicy South Indian style dish with tempering and curry leaves for flavoring and garnish.

While the beans and okra are cooking in the microwave (about 5 minutes each), I get the masala paste ready and start sautéing it; this way, when the masala paste is good and ready, I can throw in the cooked veggies into the same pan and finish cooking quickly. I prefer to cook the veggies with some salt for seasoning.

1 cup Winged Beans, chopped
1 cup frozen cut Okra
½ medium red onion, diced
¼ cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp curry leaf masala paste*
salt to taste
tempering: 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon split urad dal, 3 or 4 curry leaves

*Curry Leaf Masala Paste
¼ cup packed curry leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1-inch piece of Indian cinnamon bark
2 tablespoon unsweetened dry grated coconut
2 Tablespoon gingelly/sesame oil


  1. Curry Leaf Masala Paste: Dry roast the ingredients (except oil) and grind them to a fine paste drizzling olive oil as needed while grinding
  2. Cook the winged beans with some salt in microwave, drain, and rinse. Microwave power varies-- I cook the chopped winged beans for about 5 minutes in mine, with enough water to immerse the beans
  3. Cook the frozen cut okra with some salt per package directions, drain, rinse in cold water
  4. Tempering: Heat oil in a pan, add the urad dal first, when it turns golden brown add the mustard seeds, when it splutters add the curry leaves
  5. Then, add the masala paste, onions, crushed diced tomatoes, a tablespoon of oil and saute till aromatic and the onions and tomatoes are cooked and the masala paste is thick and intensely flavorful
  6. Add the cooked okra and winged beans to the pan, cover and cook till combined. 
  7. Garnish with some cilantro and chopped curry leaves. Serve warm with hot basmati rice

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