Sweet & Sour Okra

Here is another one from Madhur Jaffrey, doyenne of Indian cookery . Okra (also called bhindi or ladies’ fingers) is in plentiful, cheap supply in local greengrocers during the summer months and this is a wonderful way to cook it. In colour and texture it complements Lake Palace Aubergines very well. Serve with raitha and rice (ideally wholegrain) for a balanced vegetarian meal.

Serves 4-6


400g okra
7 medium-sized cloves garlic, peeled
1 dried, hot red chilli
7 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
c. 1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
c. 4 tsp lemon juice


Rinse off the okra and pat dry. Trim the pods by cutting off the two ends (you’ll find that a glutinous liquid oozes from the base) and cut each pod into 2cm lengths.

Put the garlic and chilli into the container of an electric blender with 3 tbsp water. Blend to a smooth paste. Empty this paste into a small bowl. Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric. Mix.

Put the oil in a large frying pan or wok and set over a medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. As soon as they begin to sizzle – it will take just a few seconds – turn the heat down a bit and pour in the spice mixture. Stir and fry for about a minute. Now add the okra, salt, sugar, lemon juice and 4 tbsp water. Stir to mix and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover tightly and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes or until the okra is tender. If it takes longer to cook, you might need to add a little more water.

Published by motherrach

Alongside this blog, which records tried and tested family favourites, I’m documenting on Instagram (mother_rach_cooks) my efforts in repertoire expansion.

One thought on “Sweet & Sour Okra

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: