Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dish 38: A Malvaceous Disappointment

Just a quick note that tonight I made only one dish from 5 Spices, 50 Dishes, the book I wrote about last night. It was Crispy Okra Raita, Dish 38. The malvaceous aspect, the okra, was actually not the disappointment. I just think that made a great adjective for a post title. It sounds dramatic, like "malevolent."
First of all, I have made my share of friewd okra and recipe writers always say not to turn it until it's browned on one side. I mean, ideally, you brown your fried okra and then turn it, so that in your pan you have all evenly browning pieces. How does anyone do this? I can't keep track of all those little slices; furthermore I always end up knocking about the neighbors of the okra piece I actually do mean to turn. I think it is hopeless.
    Anyway, I followed this recipe to the letter--crisping the okra, whisking the yogurt and salt and sugar in a bowl, putting a pile of spices on top of the okra, making the tadka and pouring the hot tadka over the yogurt, and then adding the okra and mixing it all together. It seemed like the flavors were off (definitely too much salt), but there may have just been too much dressing. I've never made raita before so I do not know--is it supposed to be mostly yogurt? When I think "yogurt dressing" I don't think of "vegetable pieces swimming in yogurt."
  &nsbp Perhaps tomorrow will be a Chickpea Curry with Dill kind of day.

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