4 portions. Maximum cost: £4.50 for all ingredients, 

Skill level: Easy, 

Total cooking time: 30 minutes, 

  • Prep time: 15 minutes, 
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes, 

Equipment used: Kitchen scissors, pestle & mortar, 1 frying pan, colander, 

Original recipe: Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible


Also known as “sel bhindi”. 

I assume you can get okra in the supermarket – You can definitely get this in Nour in Brixton where 350g costs approximately £1.50. Within this hidden mecca you will also find an array of herbs, spices and store cupboard essentials so be prepared to go in for a few items and leave with a rucksack full.


Where to find Okra in Brixton


To prep:

  • The original recipe states to “coarsely break up the dried red chilli” – I find it easier to finely chop it with kitchen scissors.
  • Bash 2 teaspoons of coriander seeds with a pestle and mortar (the original recipe says to aim for a “fine powder” however I tend to leave this a little chunky).
  • Chop the top and bottom off of okra, cut in half, lengthways and wash this thoroughly under cold water in a colander otherwise it has a tendency to go slimy.  Allow to dry or use kitchen roll. 
  • Finely slice an onion into thin slices


To cook:

(Original recipe in bold font)

Pour 3 tablespoons of oil into a large, preferably non-stick, pan and set over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, put in the okra, ideally in a single layer. Stir and fry for about 10 minutes or until the okra is very lightly browned on all sides.

Add the onions. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the onions, too, begin to brown. 

Add the 2 teaspoons of bashed coriander seeds, 1 chopped dried chilli, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring for another 5 minutes. Taste for a balance of seasonings. Add the chopped coriander and serve.



All ingredients sourced from Nour in Brixton

  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds (55p for a packet)
  • 1 whole dried hot red chilli, seeds removed (£1 for a bag)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (I used vegetable oil but the original recipe asked for corn or peanut)
  • 340g okra, topped and tailed then slice in half lengthways, (£1.50)
  • 1 smallish onion, sliced into fine half rings (20p)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric (55p for a packet)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, finely chopped (70p)