Teeny Dried Okra | Okra Vathal | Crispy Okra

There are lots of ways of drying Okra in South India, from the plain – salted and dried, to the curd-soaked okra similar to yoghurt chillies, to okra that is pre-cooked in chilli and tamarind and then dried.

This version partially dries the okra and then blanches them in salt and turmeric (how healthy!) before finishing the drying process. Like all Vathal, the dried okra are fried before use, and can be eaten as snacks, with yoghurt as a pachadi or raita, or included in dishes such as Vatral Kuzhambu.

Traditionally, in India, drying would be done on a roof top terrace in the hottest of suns. I once saw my neighbours put a whole sack of onions out in the sunshine for months to fully dry. Sadly, in other parts of the world, this is not possible. So here, I use a dehydrator with excellent results. You can also dry them in the oven.

Are you after some other Okra recipes? Try Crispy Okra, Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, and Goan Fried Okra. Read more about Okra here.

Or try some of our other Vathal and VadagamDried Mango, Another Method for Dried Okra, and Dried Mung Dal Nuggets.

You can check out all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Vathal and Vadagam. We have a guide to preserving Summer and Autumn fruits and vegetables for Winter. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder

Sundakkai Vathal are dried pea eggplants (also called turkey berries), and they have a salty, slightly bitter taste. They are quite addictive, but are an adult taste. You have to grow into them. We adore them.

One way to use them is to grind them into a powder. Sometimes we do this without mixing them with anything else – saute them in a tiny bit of ghee until the puff a little, then grind into a powder, and sprinkle on rice and into dishes. It is amazing!

This recipe is a podi, or a South Indian spice mix, which includes lentils, pepper and chillies. You can add cumin as well. Curry leaves are crisped and ground with the other ingredients. It tastes great with hot rice mixed with ghee, and used to make Sundakkai Vathal Kuzhambu.

Other Spice Mixes include Garam Masala, Chaat Masala, Grape Vine Leaf Powder, and Sambar Powder.

Browse our other Podi recipes. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to browse our Late Spring recipes.

Continue reading “Sundakkai Vathal Paruppu Podi | Dried Pea Eggplant, Spice and Lentil Mix | Dried Turkey Berry Spice Powder”

Spicy Dried Okra Snack

I have fallen in love with okra and it is all my internet friend Jude’s fault – her love of okra got me checking them out at the supermarket and Asian grocers and thinking about recipes.

The season is nearly ended, I am guessing, so thoughts are turning to pickling Okra and to drying them. Some must be frozen as well. I am going to play with 2 or three ways to dry the okra, to see what we like best. I do have a dehydrator, but you can also dry okra in the sun, or in the oven.

Okra are easy to grow too, and drying okra is a great way to preserve an abundant crop. It also avoids the slimy nature of okra, definitely a plus. I have to be truthful and say that this is not a pretty item. But is it a light and crunchy snack with an amazing taste. They say it tastes of the garden and it is definitely more-ish. You have a great combination with some Dried Capsicum and Dried Okra.

In this recipe the okra is tossed with mustard or olive oil, salt and a little cayenne for a hint of spice. Select pods that are small – no larger than 6 – 8 cm. Larger okra can be stringy and tough.

Similar recipes include Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips.

Are you looking for more Okra dishes? Try Teeny Dried Okra Vathal, Crispy Okra, Okra with Chilli Spice Paste, and Goan Fried Okra. Read more about Okra here.

Or perhaps you are looking for dried items? Have a look at these: Dried Capsicum, Dried Mung Bean Nuggets, Sweet Potato Crisps, and Dried Mango.

You might like to browse all of our Okra dishes, and all of our Dried Vegetables. We have a guide to preserving Summer and Autumn fruits and vegetables for Winter. Or simply explore our Mid Autumn recipes.

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Mango Vathal | Dried Mango for Indian Dishes

Dry Mango for year round summer flavours

South India, I guess all of India, has a culture of drying vegetables, mixtures of lentils and spices, and pastes made from rice, sago and similar. This is sensible of course – it preserves summer produce for use throughout the year, and thus in leaner seasons it extends freshly available ingredients.

Although terms are used interchangeably, strictly speaking:

  • Vathal are dried vegetables and fruits
  • Vadagam are dried balls of lentils and spices
  • Vadam is a paste or dough made from rice, sago etc that is dried and then fried before using. Also called Fryums.

Looking for similar recipes? Learn how to Dehydrate Sweet Mango and make Mango Leather.

Other recipes that use the dehydrator include Sweet Potato Crisps, Mung Wadi, and Crispy Spiced Dried Okra.

You might also like other Mango recipes here and here. Browse our Indian Recipes here. Or try a collection of easy Late Summer dishes.

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Vatral Kuzhambu

Dried Onion Dumplings in a Spicy Tamarind Broth.

This is  S. Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See book’s Vatral (Vathal) Kuzhambu. Vathal or vatral are vegetables that have been salted, spiced, and dried in India during the hottest parts of the year. They are not only delicious, but also an excellent way of preserving vegetables for the colder and wetter seasons. They come in all guises, and are often made at home.

You can make your own, but they are also available at Indian stores and groceries. They go wonderfully well in a tamarind-rich spicy gravy.

You might like to explore other recipes for kuzhambus, sambars and rasams. Are you wondering what is the difference between a kuzhambu and a sambar? You might like to read this post that answers that question. Or browse all of our Indian recipes here and here. Explore our Indian Essentials here.

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How to Oven Dry Capsicums

Such intense flavours

It is so helpful in the kitchen to have bibs and bobs that you can munch on while cooking (or watching TV, or changing the baby, or reading that novel). And lots of bibs and bobs that you can add to the dishes that you are cooking to add more flavour, texture, colour and bulk.

This is one of those recipes. It produces not only great snacks, but also a treasure trove for adding to soups, vegetable stews, curries and other dishes.

You might be looking for Capsicum recipes here and here. Or find some inspiration from our Summer recipes here and here.

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