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Okra & Tomato Curry

Okra & Tomato Curry recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Earlier in the summer, I was standing in the garden, holding one, unopened packet of Okra seeds trying to figure out where to plant them.  All the rows were taken, but I wasn’t leaving until those seeds were in the ground. 

I had earlier gone shopping and couldn’t find Lady’s Fingers (what we call okra in Malaysia). Disappointed I couldn’t cook the vegetarian okra curry I had planned, I walked over to the gardening area of the store and found one untouched row of okra seed packets.  It was clear Minnesotans weren’t fond of the delicious, slimy, green pods.

okra in the garden

Back in the garden, the tomato plants were well on their way, so I dug a trench around them and planted the okra seeds.  Two months later, the okra fence was fully grown, and with much larger okra pods than I expected.

Okra is a common vegetable found in Malaysian morning markets since it used in a wide variety of dishes such as Fried Okra, Sambal Okra, Okra Curry, and Stir-Fried Okra.  But even though I was familiar with the veggie, I had never grown it.  And I had no idea that if you don’t harvest it early, it will just keep getting bigger and quickly become inedible.

After a wasted first harvest with too many hard pods (you’ll know if they are too hard when a sharp kitchen knife struggles to slice through one), I made sure not to make the same mistake again.  Once the new pods grew to 2-3 inches, I snipped them off, and along with a handful of ripe tomatoes, brought them into the kitchen to cook up this Okra & Tomato Curry.

Using our Sweet Curry Powder, and a touch of our Garam Masala, this Okra & Tomato Curry has a rich flavor that instantly reminded me of the Indian veggie curries I eat back home in Malaysia. A perfect dish for a cool, rainy fall day.

Okra & Tomato Curry by SeasonWithSpice.com

Okra & Tomato Curry recipe by Season with Spice
Serve 3-4

4 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onions – sliced
4-5 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 lb okra – trimmed, dried and sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 medium tomatoes – diced
2 tsp of Season with Spice’s Sweet Curry Powder
1/4 tsp of Season with Spice’s Garam Masala
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt, or to taste
Squeeze of lemon juice
A handful of fresh cilantro leaves – roughly chopped

1. Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium fire. Add in onions and sauté until they begin turning brown. Then add in the minced garlic and continue cooking until fragrant and lightly browned.
2. Add the okra into the pan, stir well, and cook for 10 minutes. Pour in a little bit of water if it gets too dry while cooking. Then, add in the tomatoes, sweet curry powder & garam masala. Mix well and continue to sauté until the tomatoes become soft & pulpy. Add in the water, stir gently, and let simmer for another 4-5 minutes until the curry thickens. Sprinkle in salt, and taste & adjust.
3. Turn heat off. Squeeze in some lemon juice and garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve the okra & tomato curry over basmati rice, brown rice, or chapati. Add a dollop of plain yogurt too. Delicious!


Deepa said...

This looks really nice and healthy. I'm so impressed that you managed to grow okra!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

I loooove cooking with okra. Those slimy okra with the seeds (how do you call the texture?) is addicting and how nice you get your own! So interesting that okra grows vertically! :o Shocked! This curry sounds delicious!

Wok with Ray said...

I love eating okra and I am very intrigued with the use of curry in this dish. It sounds very flavorful. Have a great week to you both! :)

Season with Spice said...

Thanks Deepa! I've been missing the flavors of curry, fall is the perfect time for a simple pot of veggie curry. We're surprised how easy it is to grow okra too! The only problem is we need to allocate a bigger plot of land to grow enough to feed us.

Season with Spice said...

Thanks Nupur!

Season with Spice said...

We were shocked too when we finally see the plant! I've always thought the name 'lady
s fingers' we call back home refers to the shape of the vegetable, but never knew it grows vertically just like fingers too.

Season with Spice said...

You too have a great week, Ray! This is one of the easiest curries I enjoy cooking at home. Simple ingredients and minimal cooking time.

SeasonWithSpice said...

I was really surprised when I found out that my husband"s grandfather planted okra when we were living in Iowa. And now that I am in Texas, it is very easy to find okras at Wal-Mart or any Asian grocery stores.

SeasonWithSpice said...

I can see why you were surprised! Okra can be a rare sight in the Midwest, but thankfully things are changing now. How nice that you get to enjoy okra anytime now:)

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