Coconut okra curry

Coconut Okra Curry

Coconut okra curry
Coconut okra curry

This is one of my mom’s okra (lady’s finger) dish that she makes retaining the structure of the vegetable. There is no slime, and is overall a mild dish with heat from the green chillies. She makes this very often when we are in Bombay, where you get better okra than in Kerala. The okra that is sold in Kerala generally tends to be tough and stringy, and shifting through the pile to get tender okra is met with not-so pleasant looks from the shopkeeper.


1. 1 pound (1/2 kilo) okra
2. 1 cup coconut milk
3. 1 small diced onion
4. 1/2 inch chopped ginger
5. 2-3 Thai peppers (you can adjust the amount of pepper to taste)
6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
7. 1 teaspoon mild chilli powder (Byadgi chilli)
8. 4-5 curry leaves
9. salt to taste
10. 2-3 teaspoon oil

For tempering

1. 1 fine diced shallot
2. 3-4 curry leaves

Wash and pat dry the okra. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces and pan fry the okra pieces with oil  on low to medium heat for about 3-4 minutes till it is three-fourth cooked through.   Cooked at correct temperature the okra will turn an emerald green color. On high heat the okra pieces with will start turning brown. Remove the okra from pan and marinate it with onion, ginger, Thai peppers,  turmeric and chili powder and set aside.

Bring to boil the coconut milk, lower the heat and gently add the marinated okra. Continue cooking for about a minute or so till okra is cooked through. Shut off flame.

For tempering, fry the shallots and curry leaves in a small frying pan and add the contents to the cooked okra. Stir and the curry sit for couple of minutes.

Serve with rice.

Okra in coconut milk
Okra in coconut milk


Frying shallots and curry leaves for tempering
Frying shallots and curry leaves for tempering


Coconut okra curry
Coconut okra curry


A close-up to show an intact okra piece
A close-up to show an intact okra piece



18 thoughts on “Coconut Okra Curry

  1. This sounds delicious! A while ago I bought curry leaves on amazon for a Daring Cooks recipe challenge and have since just keep them in my freezer without a real use for them — this recipe sounds perfect!

    1. Thank you :). From my experience curry leaves loose their flavor after sitting in a freezer. There are lot of Indian shops in the DC area that sell fresh curry leaves.. One option of saving curry leaves is to take the leaves off the stem, place them in a dry steel container and store in the refrigerator. some leaves might turn brown in couple of days.. throw them out. The rest will get dehydrated and dry but still retain a big percentage of the flavor.

  2. Thanks for the tip! Will have to do that next time. Where are the Indian stores in DC (or the better ones at least)? I’ve been living here for around 1.5 years but haven’t really passed/seen any Indian stores.

  3. To my knowledge there is no proper Indian store in Washington DC itself. Most of them are in VA/MD suburbs. Closest ones are IndAroma in Lincolnia-Alexandria, Aladdin Halal Market on Columbia Pike-Arlington, Sangeet on Duke Street-Alexandira, Priya in Falls Church-Alexandria. Some of the Ethiopian stores sell very good spices (no curry leaves). There is a store called Addisu Gebeya in Adams Morgan that I used to buy spices from – it is on 18th street across Marrie H Reed Recreation Center

  4. This looks and sounds delicious. I love okra and am always looking out for new ways to cook it. I love kerala cuisine, maybe this would go great with some malabar porothas!

  5. Hi. Ur recipe was delicious!:) Thanks for sharing, makes cooking okra easier and tastier. Ran out if turmeric though, replaced with cumin powder. Liked the taste.

    1. Thank you!! Am glad you liked the recipe. I guess the joy of Indian cooking is replacing one spice with another and the dish still tasting great 🙂

    1. Thank you.. am really surprised there is no okra in Spain, considering it is close to the Mediterranean

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