Oh the joy of Okra, and in this dish they are quickly cooked so remain crisp and crunchy. They say that okra is good for your brain cells, so eat as many as you can! We have focused on okra recently, so there will be an ever increasing set of recipes for you to choose from.
You can also make this dish with asparagus or broccoli.
Look for okra in your local Asian and Indian shops, even Asian-owned green grocers. You will get them more cost-effectively there – about 25% of the price you might pay elsewhere.
Sri Lankan Okra Curry in Coconut Milk
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 tspn salt
3 Tblspn ghee
1 branch curry leaves (about 10 or 12)
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 Indian dried chillies
10cm piece of pandanus leaf (rampe – optional – available from Asian groceries)
1 green chilli, sliced
1 tspn Indian chilli powder
0.25 tspn cumin powder
0.5 tspn coriander powder
2 tomatoes, chopped
0.5 cups coconut milk
1 squeeze lemon or lime juice
sea salt to taste
Trim the okra and cut into 4cm pieces. Toss the okra with the 0.5 tspn turmeric powder and 0.5 tspn salt. Set aside.
In a kadhai , wok or heavy pan, melt the ghee over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add the curry leaves, onion, dried chilli and pandanus leaf. Sauté for about 3 mins.
Add the okra to the pan and sauté for a few minutes. Now add the green chilli, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and tomatoes. Sauté until the chilli begins to brown, tossing all the time so that the spices don’t burn.
Add the coconut milk, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and cook for about 5 – 7 minutes. Don’t overcook – the okra are best with a light crunch.
Remove from the heat, add the lemon or lime juice, and stir through.
Garnish with some coriander leaves if desired.
recipe notes and alternatives
It is great served with noodles as well as with rice.