More Veggies!

I don't think I would eat that much broccoli or okra if I didn't know these South Indian recipes. Incorporating vegetables into a regular meal plan is so much easier with the South Indian Meal formula:
2 vegetable curry (eg. spinach, broccoli, okra, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, vazhakkai, potato)
1 salad (eg. carrot, cucumber, tomato, radish, celery, lettuce, fruit)
1 lentil stew dish (e.g. rasam, sambar, vetral kuzhambu, more kuzhambu, poricha kuzhambu, kootu)
yogurt or buttermilk
hot pickle
Its so easy to prepare meals when you have this formula to go by. I mean what I have written above is for an ideal lunch, but you can reduce it if only 1 or 2 people are eating. We usually have 1 curry, sometimes a salad, a sambar or rasam, rice, and buttermilk. I always keep hot pickles like vadu mangai or avvakai in the fridge.
This morning I decided I wanted to finish yesterday's rasam and so I made 2 curries to go along with it (in accordance with my theory that leftover food tastes better with something fresh). This afternoon's lunch was rasam, broccoli curry, okra curry, and buttermilk, with some sambar on the side and avakkai pickle. It was pretty good.

Broccoli Curry
1 ziploc bag of frozen chopped broccoli florets, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp urad daal, 2 dried red chillis, a pinch of asafetida.

1. Splutter the mustard seeds, and then roast the urad daal, red chillis, and asafetida.
2. Add the broccoli, mix on medium heat, and then cover and steam over a lower heat.

Okra Curry
1 cup frozen okra chopped, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, a pinch of asafetida, turmeric, 1 dried red chili, 1 split green chili, 1 tbsp of yogurt.

1. Splutter the mustard seeds in oil, add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, and asafetida.
2. Add the okra and after a few minutes add the yogurt mixed with turmeric.
3. Cook this through.

Verdict: My husband commented that the broccoli could be a better quality, and the vendakkai though gooey still tasted great. Supposedly the yogurt can help the okra from becoming gooey. If anyone has any other suggestions please post them for vendakkai!


Anonymous said...

Kanchana: love the way you organize your pictures.If there is only a little brocolli add spinach , mix both together and try a masiyal . It tastes great and easy to make, I like to top it off with coconut and cumin in ghee.
For the vendakka try sprinkling a little bit of coriander on top and leaving your vendakka in a heavy bottom pan to dry up .If it is curry I prefer to use fresh ones and the frozen kind is for sambar and moorkozhabu only!

Anonymous said...

A wee bit of tamarind water can cut through the gooeyness of okra. Careful how much water though, 'cause that could make it more gooey.

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is a lovely website. =)

Bhindi is one of my favorite veggies to eat. While visiting with friends in India, I've been served bhindi for breakfast!! That's because my pals have been told by other pals (or by family members): "She's crazy for bhindi!" I'm grateful for such bhindi-licious hospitality!!!

I learned from my adopted Indian family (my mother-in-law, really) that the trick to keeping the goo at bay is to cook the bhindi on low heat for a long time--at least 40 minutes. A dry roast. The bhindi gets a lot darker in color, which might not be appealing to the eye. When I make bhindi, the only liquidy substance I use is 2 tablespoons of olive oil. But now that I've seen your recipe and pictures, I want to try it your way. Except for the turmeric and green chili, it's a whole new dish for me.

By the way, I grew up in the American Deep South. Eating bhindi in stews, Creole, or New Orleans style was/is common. If you're interested here's a link to my recipe of a common Southern okra dish (with Indian spices!): tomatoes, okra and corn

Anonymous said...

You can add some aam chor (dry mango powder) or little tamarind paste to the bhindi whn cooking it.
The "gooey-ness" disappears!

venita said...

a bit of chaat masala or amchur powder halfway through can cut the gooey stuff... Also try it with some slivers of raw mango or tomatillos. Usually, I try to stir as little as possible (use a spatula to lift and turn), and use a nonstick pan, a little more oil than usual and no liquid at all. Also, like toni said, low heat for a long time helps.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kanchana..
to have a good bhindi fry, cut te bhindi and put it in the microwave for 10 mins.. u will have a good fry and keep it on a low flame..

sujata said...

I add some amchur powder to vendakkai, before taking it off the stove. And they are no more gooey. Give a try.

Janaki said...

Am new Reader/follower for "marriedtodesi", being said that first need to convey my "applas" for wonderful explanantion and pics.

To avoid gooey okra, you mix salt, tumeric, sambar podi, splatter mustard seeds, put some perungaiyam.. add to okra, Spray oil on a oven pan,add all the mixed stuffs, cover it with aluminium foil and bake it for 30 mins you are keep temp around 350 to 375 based on your oven heat, then pull our the aluminium foil and bake for another 10-15 mins or until you need. No more gooey Okra...This way you will have all four stove top for other cooking. Ususally my mom will use good iron kadai and cook over medium heat for a long time. Oven method is good for both fresh and frozen Okra, if I find fresh Okra, i will cut and freeze them myself.

Nic@OurParkLife said...

Fantastic! I have been looking for a broccoli curry, and yours looks delicious and easy to make!

I found your blog doing a google search on Broccoli, and clicked on your link!

I'll be coming back!

Anonymous said...

Hey good recipes!!!.... I too have a recipe blog, you people can visit and join if willing.. :)

sangeeta said...

Hi Kanchana,

I ve recently spotted your blog and love to read all your recipes along with the stories.. amazing to read and at the same time helpful! Thats very sweet that your hubby knows how to cook u know!! :) very helpful!
Bhindi is one of my fav veggies .. I have always been told by my amma that we can either add little Arasi mav (Rice flour) or Amchur powder or More (Buttermilk) .This way will not turn sticky.
Living in the middle east I get fresh vegetables and esp. Bhindi and eggplants, Brinjals are must grown here so I get fresh . I prefer not to use frozen but i do buy frozen peas :P sometimes! but only to that nothing else... :)
I love your dishes.. Most of them Authentic and also love to learn new ones ... Thanks a bunch dear!!!


Unknown said...

What an interesting read.... I love the combination of vegetable curries with Sambhar/rasam and other curries. We call this mezhukkupuratti in Kerala.