You will find this Andhra dish only in South Indian homes and local restaurants. I have yet to come across it in any Indian eatery in the West. It is a simple dish, very much like the karhis of northern India. It is soupy; the yogurt in it is held together with a little binding of chickpea flour. This one has sautéed okra floating around in it. It is normally eaten with rice and is generally served in individual bowls. It may also be poured directly over the rice. Other vegetables can be served on the side.

    If you do not have chana dal, double the urad dal.

    SERVES 4

    From the Taj Gateway Hotel in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

    • ¾ lb. fresh okra
    • 3 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
    • Salt
    • 2 tablespoons chickpea flour (besan or gram flour)
    • 1½ cups plain yogurt
    • ¼ teaspoon urad dal
    • ¼ teaspoon chana dal
    • ¼ teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
    • 2 dried hot red chilies
    • 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped onion
    • 1 fresh hot green chili, partially split in half lengthwise
    • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

    1. Wipe the okra pods with a damp cloth, then allow them to air-dry. Trim off the tops and tails, then cut the pods crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

    2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the okra and fry for 5–6 minutes, until just starting to brown. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for another 3–4 minutes, until the okra is almost cooked. Using a slotted spoon, transfer it to a plate lined with a paper towel. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt over the top and toss.

    3. Put the chickpea flour in a bowl. Slowly add 2 tablespoons of water, mixing with a wooden spoon as you go. Once you have a smooth paste, whisk it into the yogurt along with another ½ cup of water.

    4. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium pan and set over medium heat. When hot, add the urad and chana dal. As soon as they start to pick up some color, add the mustard seeds and red chilies. As soon as the seeds start to pop, in a matter of seconds, add the onions, green chilies, and turmeric and sauté for a minute. Stir the yogurt mixture and pour it into the pan. Stir and bring to a simmer, and keep stirring until the mixture thickens. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and the okra and stir until you are back at a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 2–3 minutes.

    5. As this dish sits, it can thicken up, so add a little water to thin it as you wish.