Monday, March 15, 2010

Indian Spiced Okra

Before we get to the recipe and lots of parenthesis (one set doesn't count as a lot...this is just the beginning) I have a haiku to share:

Some call you slimy
But I'll eat you in gumbo 
and hell, deep fried too

So, as it happens,  I love okra. It might have something to do with my southern-ness (is that a word? it is now). I've had okra deep fried, in gumbo, in a British curry (completely different than Indian curry), and in Indian food (someday I will try them pickled). I love them all. I can't pick a favorite. 

Ok, I can actually pick a favorite. I love Indian style okra. There is a restaurant near my house, The Clay Oven, that makes some highly addictive Indian food. While I've never had anything bad there, my standout dish has always been the okra. I guess because I thought it was hard to make. Or because its one of those vegetables we just didn't make at home. Well the times have changed because twice in the last 2 weeks I have made okra. 

Both were Indian in flavor, but I'm only going to give you the recipe that I came up with. You can find the other recipe right here (I added some cubed butternut squash that was looking lonely in my fridge). Anyways, the sort of stir fried Indian okra is delicious. Except I didn't cook it as long as I should have. The okra should be cooked till it is brown. This can take awhile and I got impatient to eat. That's why mine is green (but still tasty!). Tomorrow when I decide to eat the leftovers for lunch, I am going to pick out the okra and throw it back in the skillet on low until its nice and brown and crispy. Eat it green or brown but know this: its better browned (I think that should be the name of the Jersey Shore tanning place. Except the cast is orange so never mind). Anyways, give it the time it takes.

After I took the pictures, I decided to add some lentils to the mix to add some protein. I would estimate this to be roughly 300 calories a serving. So its an excellent choice for those of us trying to slim down before summer which apparently starts this week in Southern CA. (Not that I'm complaining)

Indian Spiced Okra

To increase the nutritional value I added about 11/2 cups of cooked black lentils right 2 minutes before I got really impatient and decided the okra was close enough to done. If you decide to do this, double the amount of spices.
1/2 pound okra, sliced into rounds
1 cup chopped onion
2 sliced jalapenos
2 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp mustard seeds (I used brown, black are more traditional)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp Garam Masala or a pinch of both cinnamon and clove (I used the latter) 
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp Vegetable or Peanut Oil

In a skillet over medium low heat, toast all the spices. Set aside. In a skillet over medium high heat add oil, onion, ginger, and jalapenos (please turn on your exhaust or open every window you have). After a minute reduce heat to medium low and add the okra and the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is fully cooked (this happens while the okra is still green) or until well browned (tastes even better). Add spices (and lentils if you are using them) back into the pan and cook for another minute. Viola! You are done.


  1. Deanna> so glad I found you. great recipe and fun blog...I hate the dishes too! SO many other great things to do! Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Oooh thankyou for this recipe! I've never really found an okra recipe that I've been in love with but this one sounds like a great one! :D

  3. Just cook the okra still its really good and browned and I bet you'll like it. Hopefully I'll be trying it with frozen okra sometime this week to see if it cooks the same.