Okra with Potatoes

(recipe, Madhur Jaffrey)


This Gujarati specialty may be served with any Indian meal that includes a bean or split-pea dish and either rice or an Indian bread. A yogurt relish would be a perfect accompaniment.


  1. 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  2. A piece of fresh ginger about 1 inch long, peeled and coarsely chopped
  3. ¼ to ½ tsp. cayenne
  4. 2 tsp. ground cumin
  5. 1 tsp. ground coriander
  6. ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  7. 3 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil
  8. ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
  9. ½ tsp. brown mustard seeds
  10. 14 oz. fresh okra, trimmed at the ends and cut into ¾-inch pieces (see Note)
  11. 9 to 10 oz. waxy red potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  12. 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
  13. 1 tsp. sugar
  14. 1½ Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  15. 1 tsp. salt
  16. 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped


  1. Put the garlic, ginger, and 4 tablespoons of water into a blender and blend to a purée. Empty into a small bowl. Add the cayenne, ground cumin, ground coriander, and turmeric, and mix well.
  2. Put the oil in a 9-inch frying pan and set it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop (a matter of seconds), turn the heat down to medium-low and add the spice paste. Stir and fry for 30 seconds. Add the okra, potatoes, tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and ½ cup of water. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook very gently for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the okra is tender. Stir. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.


Culinate editor's note: If you can't find fresh okra, use frozen instead; just defrost it before using.