Okra Sabzi

One of the side dish prepared by the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors for the Indian feast is Okra Sabzi. Okra is also known as lady finger. This recipe is adapted from Satta Lal. Mary and June partnered to make this dish.


Okra tastes freshest and most tender when it is small. When buying okra, be sure to choose pods that are no longer than 4 inches. bright green, and firm.

Okra is mucilaginous, i.e. it’s gooey when the seed pods are cooked. To avoid the goo effect, okra pods are often stir fried to cooked away the moisture or paired with slightly acidic ingredients, such as citrus or tomatoes.


  • 4 cups okra
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 green chili pepper or jalapeno pepper, chopped (add according to your taste – 1/2 chili with no seeds, provides a medium heat)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Here is an excerpt from ‘The Spice of Life’ on turmeric shared by Stella:

Turmeric, with its yellow pigment curcumin, is the underground stem of a tropical perennial that grows in many hot Asian countries.  The stem is a light brown colour on the outside but, when ground, produces a bright yellow powder.  Being very cheap and colourful, it has been heaped into curries for thousands of year – with very interesting results.  For a long time, it had been noted that people in India had relatively low rates of cancer of the oesophagus.  In laboratory tests, cucuminoids have been shown to kill melanoma cells.

Evidence from Swansea University now suggests that turmeric may be effectivee at blocking NF-kappaB, a protein linked with several cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.


okra-2-300x200Wash and dry the okra. Remove the caps and ends and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
okra-4-300x200Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add mustard seeds.
okra-5-300x200When the seeds begin to pop and crackle, add the ginger, garlic and chili, and continue to fry for one minute.
okra-6-300x200Add okra, lemon juice, turmeric, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
okra-8-300x200Add the onion, and continue to stir-fry until onion is golden brown, and all the moisture is evaporated and the okra somewhat crispy, about 10 more minutes.

The turmeric imparts a nice yellow colour on the dish, especially the onion.

Mary and June, thank you for making the Okra Sabzi dish.

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  1. Nancie

    i love okra….especially cook with fish curry or sambal….delicious…

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