Christmas dinner for a veggie lover can be a bit daunting; turkey here, chicken there and ham everywhere. What’s there for us to eat?
For me, I like to keep it simple with big, bold flavours; that means Indian. So today I’m sharing one of my favourite Christmas dinner main dishes that’s sure to satisfy both meat and veggie lovers, my Okra and Egg Curry with Quinoa. Oh, and for those who are hosting vegetarian guests this Christmas and are absolutely clueless about what to make, I’ve got you sorted!
Main ingredient, okra. If you’ve read my blog post about my okra fritters, you’ll know that this is one of my favourite veggies that sadly get a bad rep here in Jamaica for being super slimy and just not appetizing. BUT, okra doesn’t have to be that way at all. It’s actually crunchy and delicious when prepared correctly and has zero slime. Make sure the okras you use are firm, bright, green and of course fresh! I use organic ones that I’ve planted myself but pretty much all the okras here on the island are organically grown, so it’s super easy to get your hands on the good stuff, which is AWESOME!
For the curry, I use my grandmother’s curry blend which is five star, top notch stuff. I mean, you can’t get the stuff anywhere else; well actually, you could get something pretty similar in May Pen Market in Clarendon so go pick up your own!
When you cook with this curry, you’ll see flecks of the spices coated on whatever you’ve made; the sign of quality. So first step is to saute some onion, garlic and tomatoes in coconut oil and curry. Oh by the way, coconut oil is the way to go for this recipe- remember the rule, if coconuts are grown in the country of the dishes’ origin, use coconut oil!
I pretty much let this fry ’till the onions are crisp, then I add the sliced okras and season with salt and pepper. You wanna fry this until the okras become a bit crispy too, this helps to eliminate the slime.
Then it’s time to add water.
In the mean time I boil my quinoa by simply following the instructions on the package and boil my eggs to hard boil. These just hang out until I’m ready for ’em.
You wanna turn the okras down to medium heat and simmer until the okras are tender but firm and the curry reduces a bit. At this point, cut add the eggs and have them simmer in the curry. The whites will turn bright yellow to almost match the yolks. You want the curry to be thicken but still thin and definitely you need to have enough curry sauce (gravy) to spoon over the quinoa.
I like to finish with a squeeze of lime after I shut the heat off. I stir, readjust my seasoning and serve over quinoa.
The slightly spicy curry is the perfect warming sensation for this colder weather and is a great additional to any Christmas dinner menu; your veggie friends will love you for it!!
Okra and Egg Curry with Quinoa
This Christmas dinner entree is one for the veggie lovers and just perfect for this cold Winter climate.
24 okras, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (preferably from May Pen Market or your Indian grandmother)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2-2/3 cups water
2 eggs, hard boiled
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked (follow instruction on package)
- To a dutch pot or kadai, add a few tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of the curry powder.
- Allow this to get hot but do not burn the spices. Add the onions, garlic and tomatoes.
- Fry these until the onions are crispy.
- At this point, add the okras and season with salt, pepper and the remainder of the curry powder.
- Saute these on high heat, this helps to eliminate the slime. I wait until a crust forms on the okra as a result of the spices and seasonings.
- Add the water and lower the heat to medium and simmer with the lid off.
- Let the curry reduce a bit for about 5 minutes and add the, sliced, cooked eggs.
- Reduce for another 5-7 minutes. The okras should be cooked but firm (and not slimy).
- Shut off the heat and add a squeeze of lime. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
- To serve, spoon some quinoa on a plate and pile the okra and egg curry on top. You can also mix the quinoa with the curry to make a okra quinoa bowl.