Indian Dinner: Okra and Onions

Last summer, we tried planting some okras in our vegetable patch. It was not a very successful endeavor as they were completely overcrowded by and in the shadow of  our tomato plants. Nonetheless, we were able to harvest two fat okra. Excitedly, my boyfriend tried raw okra for the first time and solemnly declared: “It is like eating a slug.”


Not very appetizing, but quite honest. Okras do have a slimy texture which makes them, in my opinion, difficult to cook as we are not used to it. Being a staple vegetable of Indian and other Asian cuisine, I really wanted to make them work.

So, it was with some anxiety that I tried stir-frying them with onions. The result: scrumptious!

Here is what you need:

  • around 20 fresh okras (I would say this amounts to 10 oz, or 280g)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste

Here is what you do:

  1. Wash each okra and gently scrub them to remove any dirt. Slice off the head, and then cut each okra diagonally in two or three pieces. Set aside.
  2. Remove the outer onion skin and cut lengthwise. Slice in thin strips.
  3. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil on medium heat and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stir a little before adding the garlic. Mix until the garlic is lightly brown.
  4. Add the okra and onion and stir for a few minutes. Add the garam masala and mix well. Let cook until the okras and onions are tender.

The result is very tender okras, without too much slime. What I loved most about this dish was that the okra and mustard seeds pop with every bite which adds a nice texture.

This dish really made peace between okras and us, and I have to say, they are a lot less scary once cooked and well seasoned.

Let me know what’s your favourite okra recipe!

5 thoughts on “Indian Dinner: Okra and Onions

  1. We love okra! I like it raw with curry hummus, or chopped into blackeyed peas and collards. My manfriend also adds them to some Nigerian dishes he makes. I successfully grew them in a Brooklyn backyard years ago, during a very hot summer. They certainly need a lot of space!

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