Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 15 Feb 2011

This is inspired by—but a pale copy of—the okra at Shalimar{.broken_link} in SF. Shalimar, BTW, is one of my favorite places to eat in this most foodie of cities and I never fail to order the okra when I go there.

The recipe which follows should be followed more by the spirit than the letter of the law. I tossed it together during my lunch hour then let it stew all day so the amounts are not entirely precise. Still, they should be good enough to get you a tasty meal.

Also, please note that I like my spicy food to be spicy. This one had a decent kick for me but was not impressively hot. Others may not find it to be so mild.


  • 4 Tbl vegetable oil
  • 1 lg onion, chopped
  • 4 serrano peppers, sliced thin
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1 lg bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 lb small okra, stems removed (but not the caps)
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ginger, cut into small matchsticks
  • 2 tsp garam masala


  • Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Add onion and serranos and sautee until soft.
  • Add the tumeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne and salt and stir.
  • Add the bell pepper, okra, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and ginger. Fill the tomato sauce can with water and stir that into the mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep there for the next four hours, loosely covered and occasionally stirred.
  • Just before serving, stir in the garam masala.
  • Serve over steamed rice.

Yes, this recipe calls for a four hour stewing time (not including anything before that). But it’s almost entirely unwatched so if you’re going to be bumming about the house anyway why not make that time more productive by cooking a tasty, vegan meal?

Also, some people may fear the okra due to the bad rap it gets for its mucilaginous nature (read: slimy). That’s not a worry here as the okra remain whole. The few that break open during stewing add a little bit of body to the dish but overall it’s a very pleasant experience, even for those who are okra-phobic.

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