Americans are not overly fond of okra; outside of the South, it's rarely eaten and rarely missed. In India, though, okra is much beloved and is prepared in many ways: fried, stuffed, and, as here, braised briefly with tomatoes and onions. We promise that our method will not give you a slimy vegetable, just barely tender okra with great flavor. Serve the curry over rice with a little plain yogurt.
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice (from one 15-ounce can)
2 10- ounces packages frozen cut okra, defrosted
1 10- ounces package frozen peas
1/2 cup water
2 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
How to Make It
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the fennel seeds, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Increase the heat to moderate. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until no liquid remains in the pan, about 5 minutes.
Add the okra, peas, water, and salt and simmer just until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
Wine Recommendation: It's been said that gewürztraminer is the best match for curry, and we won't disagree. Try one from Alsace for its power and depth of flavor.
Notes: Since perfectly fresh, sweet peas are so hard to find, frozen peas are almost always an acceptable substitute. In fact, frozen peas are generally of such high quality, we rate them as our favorite frozen vegetable.