Okra Stir Fry & Some Venice Stories

Hello Folks,

You must be wondering where I had disappeared to, yet again. Thanks a bunch for those who enquired. I am hale and hearty, just a wee bit travel weary. You see I am back from yet another trip. This time it was Venice. Yes the water city, the land of gondolas, the beautiful churches, labyrinth of lanes and by-lanes, sunshine, gelato, masks and all other things beautifully Venetian.

You must be wondering how much I travel. Dear me, I am wondering the same thing myself. And I am pinching myself too. To see if I am dreaming or this is really happening. One month I go to Paris, next to Venice. Am I in some wistful travel dream? 

You see ever since we came to the UK just after our marriage, a little less than three years ago, we have been planning to travel. It was one of the juiciest carrots my husband dangled to bring me to the UK. He showed me dreams of seeing Europe, not in 15 days but slowly, steadily, a little at a time. Needless to say I fell for it, hook, line and sinker. The first year when he was a full time student and me, sporadically employed, travel was an unthinkable luxury. Second year we were finding our feet, settling in the hectic life of London fresh from the green pastures and slow life of Oxford. But by third year we were ready to travel. Boy, we were raring to go. Some things we decided on--
  • To travel during March and June, the weather gets better, tourist season starts, yet the rush of summer does not set in, so prices are still affordable and places are a little less busy...
  • To apply for Schengen Visa for three months and make at least 3 to 4 trips to make the most of the visa, I wish UK was part of Schengen, then we could have spaced out our travels...
  • To make use of the public holidays of this time, there are quiet a few in the UK, and go for short trips, save annual leave for a trip to India ( hopefully, fingers crossed)...
All well with the planning, but what this frequent travelling is doing is making me super busy. The pre-departure thousand things to do, followed by post holiday exhaustion and chores, trying to get back into normal rhythm is super time consuming. Hence my reduced presence in the blog sphere. But I am not gone all the time, am trying to keep up with the commitments, albeit a little late. I hope I will not loose my new blog friends.  And I am certainly not complaining. I am loving this kind of hectic schedules and if you asked me to set off for another exotic place tomorrow, I can be ready in half an hour and would happily get up at three in the morning to catch the early morning flight! I will also find some time to make some sandwiches for travel (airport food is horrible and expensive), do some research about the place we are visiting [the must see + the must eat + the must buy], tidy up the house (hate coming back to a messy place), do grocery for when we come back et al. I am sure you get the gist.

Before I share the recipe of this post, I wanted to share with you some photos of our Venice trip.

The famous Rialto Bridge/ Ponte di Rialto, one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal (main road/water way of Venice). There are innumerable souvenir shops on the bridge.  It is a hectic place, filled with tourists and has some great views.

Gondolas parked along the bank, Venice

A typical Venetian Piazza. We found the best Venetian mask shop in this square. The masks were lovely and pretty affordable, compared to some of the shops nearer to the landmarks. We liked the shop so much we went back the next day, getting lost in the never ending Venetian lanes and by-lanes. And all our efforts were rewarded by a hefty discount!

Typical Venetian houses. Love the balconies and the flower pots. Our house in Kolkata has lots of balconies, so they are really dear to me.

Santa Maria della Salute, this church is located in a narrow finger of land.  We sat near the water one evening, had a picnic dinner while watching the sunset, it was lovely!

Bridge of Sighs/ Ponte dei Sospiri. 
The enclosed bridge is made of white limestone and has windows with stone bars. It passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old prisons to the interrogation rooms in the Doge's Palace. It was designed by Antoni Contino  and built in 1602.
The view from the Bridge of Sighs was the last view of Venice that convicts saw before their imprisonment. The bridge name, given by Lord Byronin the 19th century, comes from the suggestion that prisoners would sigh at their final view of beautiful Venice through the window before being taken down to their cells. In reality, the days of inquisitions and summary executions were over by the time the bridge was built and the cells under the palace roof were occupied mostly by small-time criminals. In addition, little could be seen from inside the Bridge due to the stone grills covering the windows.
A local legend says that lovers will be granted eternal love and bliss if they kiss on a gondola at sunset under the Bridge Of Sighs.

Source: Wikipedia

Colourful Houses in the Island of Burano. In this island, famous for its lace, each house is famed to be a different colour!

Shot from the Grand Canal, while travelling in the water bus.
View of Venice spread out, from the Tower of San Giorgio Maggiore

Venetian masks, one shop on the Rialto Bridge
Shot during our picnic in the land strip next to Salute
Gondola on the Grand Canal
Piazza San Marco all lighted up and filled with music!
Now onto the recipe. It is time again for Blog Hope Wednesday and this time I am paired with Kamalika of Dedicated to Janaki Pattis. Kamalika is a vegetarian and in her blog she talks a lot about diet for diabetic people. After going through her blog a couple of times, I decided to make her Okra-Onion Stir Fry. Okra is one of our favourite vegetables, but sadly we do not eat enough of it. So I grabbed the chance to cook Okra. This vegetable reminds me of summer, long lazy days, holidays. My mother made it several ways. This is one of those rare vegetables which I loved since my childhood. I have added a potato and one tomato to Kamalika's recipe, also a pinch of sugar, yes sugar to balance all that sourness of am chur powder [dried mango powder]. The okra came out all tangy and tasty, served it with khidchi/khichuri [lentil and rice cooked together] and some hot lime pickle.

What You Need To Make This Okra Stir Fry:
  • Okra - washed , dried and cut into 1/2 inch pieces ( I used roughly 400 gms )
  • Onion - 3-4 cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • One potato, slit into half and then cut into thin wedges
  • One juicy medium sized tomato, cut into thin strips
  • Red chilly powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Coriander powder - 1 tea spoon
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tea spoon
  • Amchur Powder/Dried Mango powder - 1/2 tea spoon ( This is used to remove the sliminess of Okra). This can be replaced by tamarind water or lime juice.
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 table spoons of Sunflower/Groundnut Oil
  • 1/4 tea spoon sugar

The way You Make This Stir Fry:

In a non stick pan add oil, when the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium low, add the chopped potato wedges, fry for 5 mins or so till the potato wedges brown nicely, then add okra pieces and sauté for 3 - 5 minutes. Add the dry powders except Amchur powder. Sauté for a couple of minutes more. The add the chopped onions, tomatoes and salt to taste. After a couple of minutes when the onion pieces started to look translucent, add about one fourth cup of water, let it come to a boil, the water will evaporate. Add the amchur powder, mix well and then add the pinch of sugar to balance the taste. Switch off the heat. 

You can serve this with chapatis/parathas, I served it with khidchi. This would also be lovely with some rice and dal.

Cannot tell you how yummy and homely the okra  and the khichuri tasted in the middle of all that unpacking! By the way these are some of my shopping from Venice. Did I mention that Venice is a treasure trove for shopping? If you are planning a trip there, do keep a separate shopping budget. We sure blew ours!

In case you are wondering about the food we ate there, you can find the album in Kitchen Karma's Facebook Page. Do pay a visit to see all the gelato and the pizzas!


  1. Venice is so beatiful! practicaclly everywhere a place worth taking a picture!
    Lucky you to travel so often:)

    Blog about life and travelling
    Blog about cooking

    1. True Ola, Venice is beautiful....you keep taking photos of everything you see :-)

  2. Hey Suchi, lucky girl, got to visit Venice, that's my dream, I fell in love with this place even before I knew that it's Venice ( when I was a kid there was some pictures of this place with the gondolas), and the curry looks different, usually I add the onions first, this is in the reverse..

    1. Hema am sure you will get to visit Venice one day soon :-)

  3. Suchi , I thought you said I'm going with you to Venice ?! hahahahhaha You lucky gel ! All those awesome architecture and especially all the marvelous food ! What more could you ask for ?!

    I haven't eaten okra for a long long time ! Back home , my Mom usually add okra in our light soup , you might say ekkkk but I love its sliminess ! :D

    I love this dish ! Will try to cook it someday ;)

    1. I also love Okra's sliminess....I guess it is an acquired taste Anne :-)

  4. What a beautiful trip! Lovely photos, and the dish you made blew me of: Okra?! And look at the results: delicious!

  5. I've always heard Venice is one of the most beautiful cities. u r lucky to have this opportunity

  6. Marvellous pictures and a lovely stir fry.

  7. wow :) all worth it suchi.. the break.. such great pics.. i was almost transported there.. i think of gondolas & i remember the song do laafson ki..simply breathtaking.. i think u start a travelogue.. would help all of us to plan a trip & know what to visit :)..Subzi looks great..!

    1. Can hardly keep up with this blog, another one, though sounds tempting would be the death of me Rasi :-)

  8. Welcome back! I love those pics of Venice. It is near my home town. Nice memories.
    Also I really like Okra, I have never seen it before and looks delicious.

  9. I fell in love with this place too Suchi.. reading your post, I got back into the same phase of mine, when we went to Paris and then Ital one after the other.. Venice was amazingly romantic and lovely :D

    Okra too is romantic though ;)

  10. Gorgeous clicks, super narration and yummy okra fry!!!

  11. Thanks for sharing all these photos from your trip to Venice. Very beautiful place! Like you I do not eat okra very much and I truly think it is due to the lack of recipes out there. Glad to stop in and find this, I like the tangy and hot flavors you put in there-definitely very complimentary with the okra-yum! Have a great weekend!

  12. lovely pics; of-course you must have had a blast. okra is my fav too. loved the little tweaks u did with the recipe

    1. Thanks Priya, yes we did have a great time :-)

  13. beautiful pictures. .thank you for sharing them. I love bhendi in any form, another one to add to my collection.. thank you for sharing

  14. Lovely lovely pics of Venice, one of the places I really want to visit!Never did it while we were in UK :(...Love your bhindi recipe!It also reminds me that I haven't bhindi in a long time!Got to get some real soon :)

  15. What a beautiful post. At each picture I had to spend time to absorb the beautiful of Venice. I miss being in the Uk for this reason alone. The getaways are aplenty in and around UK as well as Europe. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures.
    The okra sabji looks so good. Will make it tomorrow itself.

  16. Awesome pics of so beautiful Vanice.loved the post!!and yes delicious and nice okra fry ..

  17. beautiful city,I love all the pictures,make me want to go there Now :) I wish,,,,maybe in the future,I never had okra but it's looks Yummy,I have to try soon !!


  18. great pictures of Venice, I love that place :)and my favorite vegetable Okra, just perfect

  19. I love Venice, it's one of my all time favourite cities! You've got some really lovely photos here. Love the bhindi recipe too, so easy , yet so yummy!

  20. Lovely pictures of Venice...loved all of them! Really mouth-watering okra recipe! Loved the clicks and the recipe!! Bookmarked...

  21. Your photos of Venice is magnificent...must pin them on Pinterest! I visited Venice in the late ninetees; but there has been so much more beautification to the buildings with all those different colored buildings, and my photos were not nearly as nice as yours.

    Your stir-fry okra is so colorful and delicious, I must make this dish!
    Thanks for sharing your amazing travels:DDD

  22. Thanks for the pics and details of Venice - almost went on a trip with you! :) I have a new love for Bhendi since the last few years..didn't like it so much earlier on for some reason! :)

  23. Oh, gosh, lucky you!!!! What a dream to visit Venice and Paris in one year! Your photos are fabulous...how I love Italy :) And your okra stir fry looks wonderful, too...thanks for sharing both~

  24. hi suchi...lovely pics. Venice is def on our to do list. Just like you, even i wish Uk was part of the schengen countries :)
    Just a quick one...would you be interested in attending a food blogger event on the 23rd of may near covent garden? Its organized by a pr agency in relation to VITAMIX. You'd basically be able to test the culinary creations of the machine, have a play with it and there is some lucky draw. I am attending and was wondering if you'd like to join. If so shoot me a msg and il send you more details

  25. You lucky woman. Your photographs of Venice look beautiful! Hopefully, one day I will visit Europe.

  26. ohh...wowo...the cliks are absolutely fascinating..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  27. beautiful photos! and thanks for that tip for making the okra not slimy, i definitely want to give it a try!

  28. Hope u had loads of fun there...I am also planning to go to italy in 2 weeks time to make the most of visa like u :)cant wait to see Venice,ur pics looks beautiful :)

  29. What a beautiful city and stunning photos! So happy you are able to travel and really enjoy it. The okra looks amazing as well!

  30. lovely photos... love traveling with you on your dream vacations...
    I have been to any of these places, so love it too!
    Yummy okra fry too!

  31. Ohhh my goshhhh traveling to venice is reallyy a dreammm amazinggggggg clicks

  32. oh i am so jealous of u... how fabulous that u got to visit two of the most beautiful places in the world back-to-back! loved the pics makes me wanna leave everything & plan a trip right away.. the memorabilia u collected are super cute too. bhindi subzi is a fav of mine too looks fantastic

  33. Simply wow, your shots are amazing! The stir fry sounds really good :)

  34. wow fab place...i have heard that the water route is the most common in venice....gorgeous location..thx for taking us there...okra fry looks yummy and chatpatta

  35. such lovely pictures. and, lucky girl for all the holidays. thought i'd rustle up this quick dish, also because okra is my favorite.but, then, there was no aamchur. making do for the time being with lemon juice :)

  36. wow...gorgeous pics....looks like you had a great time ...also loved the okra recipe...one of my favorites :-)

  37. Hmm..I was also wondering ki holo ?...good at least you have time and choices now..with a kid we only end up going to travel when it's holiday time and everything is overly priced..gorgeous picture of Venice..lovely ..and liked the okhra sabzi ..hugs

  38. Simply beautifully captured shots along with the mouthwatering recipe...Just delicious!

  39. what nice and amazing pictures!! I love them!!

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  41. Hi Suchi, thank you for the virtual tour. I love all the photos, all very well taken.
    Glad to hear that you enjoy your holiday.

    And your okra look so delicious. yum yum

    Have a nice day, regards.

  42. Wow, stories of venice is a great post. Okra fry is really delicious.

    Visit my blog: Hema's Adugemane

  43. Looks divine , both the okra and venice...HAa..loved the pics..! A new way to make okra is always welcome in my house.!

  44. Amazing pics. first time here. U have an extra ordinary space. Happy to follow u :)


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