Coconut prawns and okra yogurt

OK, I may have gone crazy with this okra thing, but it’s actually a fantastic vegetable. Wholly underrated, Americans have learned to hate it because when cooked with water it loses all its texture and deflates into mush. Indians never allow water to touch okra.

Above is actually a leftovers plate from a dinner I made a couple weeks ago before the Mission Of Burma show in Williamsburg (which was great, if deafening). Both dishes are, again, from Kerala, and feature the ubiquitous kari leaves (or curry leaves – not that there is anything curry-ish about them as we understand that word). The prawns in coconut milk use a substance called kadampoli to add a sour tincture. I was unable to find it; you can substitute lemon juice, but I used tamarind instead. (Kadampoli is also known as fish tamarind, but in fact is unrelated to tamarind, all incredibly confusing.) The other dish is okra that is stir-fried in spices in oil and then folded into yogurt; meanwhile you fry some more spices in the okra-flavored oil and then fold that into the okra-yogurt mixture. It’s more-ish.