There are a number of stuffed okra dishes, and each is so good and so worthy of being made. Use fat okra for this dish – they can be long or short, but they do need some body.
This is a beautiful stuffing made from coconut (use frozen if you don’t have fresh), coriander leaves and spices. The recipe calls for Goda Masala, and you can make your own or purchase it from your Indian grocers. If you can’t find this lovely spice powder, use Garam Masala instead.
This recipe’s inspiration comes from the beautiful and well-known book Sukham Ayu: Cooking at Home with Ayurveda Insights, by Jigyasa Giri. I love this gentle book which builds Ayurvedic wisdom, sattvic approaches and down-to-earth Indian dishes.
250 g okra
1 Tblspn ghee
0.5 grated fresh coconut, or use frozen coconut
0.5 cup green coriander leaves
1 tspn Goda Masala, or use garam masala
0.25 tspn amchur powder
pinch turmeric powder
0.25 tspn Indian chilli powder
2 tspn coriander powder
1 tspn cumin powder
pinch asafoetida powder
sea salt to taste
Rinse the okra and pat each one dry. Trim the ends without cutting into the seed areas.
Now make a vertical slit in the side of each okra.
Mix together the ingredients for the stuffing. They will bind together using the moisture of the coconut. If it needs a little more moisture, sprinkle drops onto the mixture until it comes together sufficiently.
Pack this stuffing into the okra.
Heat the ghee in a kadhai or frying pan. Gently place the okra into it. Reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Cook very gently for 10 – 20 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally. The time taken will depend on your heat and the size of the okra. Remove from the heat when well done.
Serve with roti or dal.
recipe notes and alternatives
This dish can also be made with pointed gourd, lemon-sized onions (making criss-cross cuts on the top for stuffing), small capsicums (by carving out the stalk and scooping out the seeds) or tender bitter gourds (halved and slit, adding jaggery into the stuffing mix if desired).
The okra can also be deep fried. After stuffing, roll in cornflour or chickpea flour and deep fry in batches.