Yogurt curry is made in every region of India, in many forms. In the north, texture is provided by the addition of little flour dumplings called “pakode”; in Gujarat, it is made with an assortment of vegetables, including okra; and in the south, this curry is made fragrant with spices. Here, gram flour or “besan” is used for thickening—it’s made from a pulse called Bengal gram and is gluten free. It cannot be substituted with all-purpose flour.
Excerpted from Indian in 7: Delicious Indian Recipes in 7 Ingredients or Fewer by Monisha Bharadwaj, Kyle Books 2019. Reprinted with permission.
Combine the yogurt and gram flour in a large bowl. Slowly add about 2 cups of cold water, whisking all the time to remove any lumps. Add enough water to make a soupy, pouring consistency. Set aside.
Warm 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add the mustard seeds and cook on high heat until they begin to pop, then add the chilies, ginger, and turmeric and cook for a few seconds.
Add the okra, season with salt, and stir. Cook on high heat for 2–3 minutes, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 6–7 minutes, stirring from time to time, until you can easily pierce a knife through a piece of okra.
Pour in the yogurt mixture, stirring frequently to prevent lumps forming. When the mixture is almost boiling, reduce the heat and cook on low heat until it thickens, about 10 minutes.
Taste the curry to check that it has lost the raw flour flavor, then adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve hot with plain boiled rice and poppadoms.