Meatless Monday: Okra in Cashew- Vinegar Sauce.

Okra is one of those vegetables I do not have a relationship with. This was my first time making it. Before this, I think I have had okra maybe once or twice before and that was in my college years.

Okra aka lady fingers. Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

It is readily available here in Kampala and quite cheap, so I decided to give it a try. Okra, also known as lady fingers are believed to have originated in Ethiopia; which I find interesting as it is mostly found in West African cuisine.

According to, okra is rich in nutrients, low in calories, has anti oxidative properties, and may lower risk of heart disease among other benefits.

I decided to use a recipe from Raghavan Iyer’s “660 Curries” cookbook. This is one of my favorite cookbooks because of the variety of vegetable, rice and especially legume dishes, and his explanations on different spice mixes in an easy to understand way. My love for Indian cuisine in all its variety knows no bounds.

I have had this book for about three years now. I love Indian cuisine and have learnt so much about spices, curries and what blends well together when making different dishes.

Raghavan’s Okra in Cashew Vinegar sauce is an easy to make recipe that results in a tasty dish without the sliminess that makes many fear cooking okra. Let’s get started:-

Ingredients are okra, rinsed and dried, 4 tbsp vegetable oil, 1/4 cup of raw cashew nuts, 1 small red onion, chopped, 4 cloves garlic, 2 lengthwise slices of ginger, 1/4 tsp ground turmeric, 1/4 cup of Malt vinegar ( I substituted with apple cider vinegar), 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tomato, cored and chopped, 2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped. I did not add the chilli peppers because of the kids.
Trim the ends and slice the okra into half an inch thick rounds. Add half the oil in a pan and stir fry the okra for 12-15 minutes till it gets a bit blistered.

As the okra fries, crush the cashew nuts, onion, ginger and garlic until they are minced. You can use a food processor for this, I did it manually, obviously …

In the same pan you have fried the okra in, add the remaining oil and add the onion cashew mixture. Stir fry for 5 minutes then add the turmeric.

Next, add a 1/2 cup of water, the vinegar, salt and the fried okra. Stir then cover. Reduce heat and let it braise till fork tender, about 10 minutes.

I added a pinch of paprika.

After 10 minutes, add the tomato and dhania. Simmer uncovered for a few minutes till the tomato is a bit soft but still firm then serve.

It was an interesting recipe to make and the okra was not at all slimy. The high heat when stir frying helps avoid that.

I had it with simple steamed basmati rice.

It is also quite colourful, which I love.

This is another dish that fits my bill. It is easy to make, tasty, healthy, colourful and filling.

The flavours are very interesting and I liked how the okra was not too tender; it was just right with a nice tanginess that balances well with the rice. I will definitely be making okra a bit more often now.

Definitely worth a try!

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