Vendai Kai Kari

A spicy vegetable dish from South India, Vendai Kai Kari (ven-dye kye kuh-ree) may be served as part of an Indian meal with rice or Chapatti. Seed the chillis if you prefer a less pungent dish.

2 oz. tamarind

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ lb. okra , trimmed and cut into -½ inch slices

2 medium-sized onions, sliced

1-inch piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 green chillis, sliced

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1-inch slice creamed coconut, dissolved in

8 fl. oz. hot water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

4 curry leaves or bay leaves

Place the tamarind in a small bowl. Pour over 8 fluid ounces of boiling water and set aside to soak for 1 hour. Pour the tamarind and water through a strainer into a small bowl. Using your fingers, press as much of the tamarind pulp through the strainer as possible.

An exciting dish from India, Vendai Kai Kari tastes very spicy.

Pour over a little more water, if nec-essary, to make the tamarind juice up to 8 fluid ounces . Discard the seeds and remaining pulp in the strainer.

In a large saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the okra. and fry, stirring constantly, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried okra to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chillis to the oil in the pan and fry, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onions are golden brown. Add the turmeric and coriander and fry, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Add a spoonful of water if the spice mixture gets too dry.

Pour in the tamarind juice, return the okra to the pan and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut mixture and salt. Increase the heat to moderate and bring the mixture to the boil again. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small frying-pan fc~

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IIBL H /TfUS -& heat the remaining oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and the curry or bay leaves. Cover the pan and fry until the seeds pop. Add the contents of the frying-pan to the okra mixture. Stir well to mix and cook for 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the curry to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

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