Call it Okra, Lady’s Finger, or Bhindi, this vegetable is quite popular all over India. While there are various ways to cook this vegetable, it tastes the best when you cook it the simple way. This version of Lady’s Finger Coconut Curry is very simple, easy to make, and tastes the best. You can serve this with rice or with roti, and you will end up making it again and again.
Okra is cooked along with the seeds. You might now know that the seeds inside the okra pods are also roasted to make caffeine- free substitute for coffee. The vegetable can be easily grown, and it has adorned my terrace garden for many years now.
What is the best way to cook Lady’s Finger?
Okra can be cooked in various ways. You can either bake it or fry it, or use it in soups and with other vegetables like a potato.
Okra curries might put off a few as the vegetable can be a little slimy when cooked. Due to this quality, it is also used as a thickener in some curries, however, the sliminess of this vegetable is why many kids dislike it. You can get rid of the sliminess of okra by following a few tips. In this recipe, the okra is sautéed on low flame with the right amount of oil. You can also follow these tips to get rid of the slimy nature.
- Once you rinse the okra, wipe them well, and dry them. Ensure the lady’s finger are dry before you cut and cook them.
- You can even add an ingredient of acidic nature to reduce the stickiness of this vegetable. So, you can add lemon juice, tamarind juice, dry mango powder, or even yogurt as per the recipe to reduce the stickiness.
- The method I follow is to shallow fry or saute the okra to reduce the sliminess.
However you cook, never cook this vegetable with the lid on. Moisture or steam makes it even stickier.
How Healthy is Okra?
Lady’s finger/Okra is known to be one of the healthiest vegetables. A few people also use tender okra leaves in salads. This vegetable contains folate, lectin, vitamin C, vitamin K, and polyphenols. It is known to improve bone density and help lower blood sugar levels.
How and where did I learn this recipe?
Being a south Indian family, we often make curries that have coconut in them.Lady’s finger coconut curry is a very popular dish that is very commonly made in households and is served mostly with rice. My mom used to make this curry in the morning, and serve it with rice. We used to enjoy the left-over curry with roti during dinner time.
Made using very few ingredients, lady’s finger coconut curry has a mildly spicy taste but is filled with various flavors. The sweetness from the coconut is balanced with red chilies and coriander leaves. Cooking it on a low or medium flame helps bring out all the flavors and combines them well.
I learned this recipe from my mom when I was 15 years old. This is also a recipe I cook very often at my home, and my daughter does not mind carrying it in her lunch box as well. I just make two rotis, spread a little desi ghee, and add this curry before rolling the rotis. It is easy to carry and fuss-free to eat as well.
Now, let’s go ahead and have a look at the recipe.
- Fresh Lady’s Finger / Okra – 250 Grams – Cut into 1-inch pieces
- Onion – Medium – Finely Chopped
- Grated Coconut – ½ Cup (Can be increased or decreased based on preference)
- Chopped Fresh Coriander Leaves – ½ Cup
- Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
- Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
- Cumin – ½ tsp
- Dry Red Chillies – 3-4 Split into Half
- Urad Dal – 1 tsp
- Curry Leaves – A few
- Salt – To taste
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Add oil to a pan. Once it is hot, add the mustard seeds, and cumin seeds.
- Once they start to splutter, add urad dal, red chilies and curry leaves.
- Add the chopped okra and cook for about 10 minutes, mixing it every 4 minutes.
- Add the turmeric powder, and salt, and keep cooking till the stickiness of the okra disappears. It should take approximately 15 minutes.
- Once the okra is cooked well, it is time to add the grated coconut. Mix it well.
- Add chopped coriander leaves, and mix well.
- Cook for a minute, and turn off the flame.
- Serve it hot with rice of choice and roti.