Known by many different names it seems to me that Okra (bindhi) is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. Having eating this dish since I was a child I think I just got used to it and now as a grown up I really like it, luckily for me so do my girls (although I think they like the idea of eating ladies fingers more than the vegetable itself).
If you have had a bad experience of Okra it will most likely be related to the slime! Not selling this am I?
Okra is notorious for producing slime — the plant and its fruit contain mucilage, which is the same thing you’ll find in aloe vera plants. When you apply heat, the slime just comes out more. There are ways to reduce all that sliminess, that is if you’re willing to give it a try and I’ve not put you off totally.
The key to cooking this dish is to wash and dry the Okra and then chop it and let it air dry overnight. The more finely you chop the okra the more slime will come out so the key is to chop approx. 1cm pieces to avoid all that slime. Once the Okra has had a chance to dry out there will be less slime to deal with when cooking.
Once you have prepped and air dried the Okra it is fairly easy to pull together this dish however as with most dry curries you will need to make sure you keep an eye on the pan and toss your vegetables regularly to stop them from sticking and burning.
This curry is delicious if you get it right and has a garlicky kick to it and tastes best served with plain yogurt and chapatis.
- 300g washed, chopped and air-dried okra
- 300g New Potatoes (diced into approx. 1cm cubes)
- 4 tbs Oil
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ tsp of red chilli powder OR 1-2 chillies (optional add to taste)
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- ½ tsp Salt (or to taste)
- Wash, dry and chop your Okra the night before and have them ready to cook.
- Peel wash and chop your potatoes and par-boil them for 5-7 mins. Take them off the heat and empty out the water and set to one side.
- Peel your garlic and then either blitz, chop or grate your garlic and chillies (if using fresh).
- Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a wide bottom pan.
- Once oil is warm add your Fenugreek seeds. Within seconds these will sizzle and turn a caramel brown colour and you will start to smell the spice.
- At this point throw in your chopped Okra and stir so that the Okra is coated in the oil. Let this cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat and you will see slime being released. Don’t worry it will dry out eventually.
- At this point add your Turmeric, Garlic, Chillies (fresh or powder), and Salt.
- Stir all the spices into the Okra and cook for a further 5 minutes, turn down the heat to low.
- Then add your par-boiled potatoes to the mix and toss together with with the Okra and spices.
- At this point if the dish seems to be drying out add the extra 1 tbs of oil.
- Cover the pan and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, keeping an eye on the dish to make sure it doesn’t stick or burn.
- You will know it is cooked when the Okra is dry and dark in colour and the potatoes are fully cooked.
- You can prep your Okra in advance and freeze once you have chopped and air dried them into small freezer bags so that you can use as and when you wish.
- Use gloves if prepping lots of Okra to avoid your hands getting slimy.