Spicy fried okra

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Spicy fried okra is delicious Indian dish that might be served with rise or naan bread. Okra is a vegetable whose texture varies dramatically depending on how it’s cooked. If you like it gooey and glutinous, add it to an African-style stew; if you prefer it in whole chunks, try it in a classic American gumbo. Okra is also known as ladies’ fingers because of its shape, and is widely used in Indian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean and southern US cookery. It’s not as popular in the UK as it is in the US, but is usually available in supermarkets and grocers. Choose stems that snap cleanly and don’t bend. Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in India. It’s made in a similar way to clarified butter, but using a different kind of cream, and it’s cooked more slowly. Ghee is simmered until all the moisture evaporates and the milk solids begin to brown, giving the resulting butter a nutty, caramel-like flavour and aroma.


3 tbsp ghee

1 large onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced or whole

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

450 g okra, trimmed and cut into 1 cm pieces

150 ml water

½ tsp garam masala

spicy fried okra


melt the ghee in a pan, add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the spices and seasoning, except the garam masala and fry for a further 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the okra, then stir gently to coat with the spice mixture, taking care not to break them.

Stir in the water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until the okra are just tender, but still firm to the bite. Stir in the garam masala and serve hot.


Buy a head of garlic that feels heavy for its size. Choose firm bulbs with plump cloves – the closer the skin adheres to the bulb, the moister the cloves will be.