Monday, January 21, 2013

Farfalle with Crunchy Okra and Red Bell Peppers

Farfalle with Crunchy Okra and Red Bell Peppers

Once in a while, a few of us Bangalore vegan girls meet up to have a pigging out session. Everyone brings one main dish and one dessert and we all eat until we're unable to move. Even though there are monthly Vegan Bengaluru potlucks, we still like to have these separate sessions occasionally because they're quality time spent with a few good friends, it's a small group so we tend to put effort into making extra special things which aren't easy to make in large quantities and most importantly, no boys are allowed! :D

It was to one of these mini potlucks that my friend Bynz brought a delicious pasta dish, Farfalle with Aubergines. It was absolutely amazing so I asked her to send me the recipe, thinking I'd try it sometime when hubby wasn't home because he doesn't like Egg Plants. She sent me a snap of the recipe to my phone and I filed the recipe away in an album and totally forgot about it.

Then last week, on one of the afternoons, I wandered into my kitchen wondering what I could quickly make for lunch, when I spied the Okra that I'd left to dry on a towel. Something clicked at the back of my brain and I suddenly wanted to make Bynz's pasta dish with the Okra in place of the Egg Plants/Brinjal. I just knew they would make for an excellent replacement!

I also decided to add in some Red Capsicum that I had in the crisper and boy was that an awesome move! The dish turned out super delicious and it even tasted good after sitting in the fridge overnight and the Okra had turned soft. This is definitely something I'll be making more often.

Farfalle with Crunchy Okra and Red Bell Peppers

Farfalle with Crunchy Okra and Red Bell Peppers

2 C Dry Farfalle Pasta

2 T Coconut Oil
250 gms Okra/Ladies Finger

2 T Olive Oil
2 T Garlic - roughly chopped
1/2 Red Onion - finely chopped
1 T Celery Leaves - finely chopped
1/2 Red Capsicum/Bell Pepper - chopped
2 t Sugar
1/2 t Red Chilli Powder
Black Salt
Black Pepper - freshly crushed
4 small Tomatoes (preferably the juicy, naati/local variety) - chopped

Wash the okra and wipe properly well with a kitchen towel.
Spread on a fresh towel and allow to dry completely.
Cut off the tops and ends and keep aside.

In a large pot, bring water to a rolling boil and add 1/2 tsp black salt.
Add the pasta and stir.
Cook on medium for 10-12 minutes.
Drain and rinse with cool, running water.
Keep aside.

Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottomed wok and pour in the coconut oil.
When the oil is hot, add the dry okra and stir.
Fry until slightly browned.
Add a dash of black salt and stir well until crispy.
Remove with a slotted spoon onto a tissue paper.
Discard any remaining oil from the bottom of the wok.
Let the wok cool for a few minutes and wipe well with a tissue paper to remove oil residue.

Heat the wok again and add the olive oil.
Add the chopped garlic and stir fry for half a minute.
Add the chopped onion and celery and stir fry for a few minutes.
Add the red bell pepper and stir fry for a few minutes.
Add the spices, sugar and a dash of black salt and mix well.
Allow the sugar to caramelize for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and stir.
Reduce the heat, cover and cook for a few minutes.
Taste and adjust the salt and spices.
Turn off the heat.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and mix thoroughly.
Add the crispy fried okra and give it a quick toss.
Serve immediately with crushed pepper on top.
Enjoy! :)

Farfalle with Crunchy Okra and Red Bell Peppers


  1. This sounds very tasty and light! How fun that you and your vegan girlfriends all get together for a potluck. I'm sure it's a great time!

    1. It's a lot of fun, Cadry. :)

      Yeah the dish is light and satisfying at the same time.

  2. Ladies Fingers! Doesn't sound very vegan :p I guess that's another name for okra?
    This sounds super yum.

  3. Ladies Fingers don't sound very vegan! :p I guess that's another name for okra?

    Jokes aside, this sounds delicious.

  4. Haha yeah, that's what we call them here in India. :D

  5. Okra with pasta!! Never would have thought :D Now im intrigued... maybe I should give it a shot sometime...

    1. Swati, do try it. Crispy bhindi with soft pasta, it's totally yum!