Thursday, August 20, 2009

Indian Eggplant and Okra Curry

Note to self: I do not have the photography skills to make eggplant curry look good. And actually, that is really sad, because this stuff was sooo good. Out of all the Indian dishes I cooked up last weekend, this was probably my favorite. I bought the eggplant and the okra for 5 bucks (yes $5 TOTAL at the farmers market) and the tomatos were from my own garden. Now how's that for eating local?
I've made an eggplant and tomato curry a few times in the past since I really like that combo, but this time I decided to add in fresh okra. I'm so glad I did too. It really adds a nice flavor and more so an awesome texture to this curry. And guess what? My okra wasn't slimy! For reals!! I really thought it would be, and I was almost expecting it, preparing myself, being ready for it. But I read some tips online and somehow I was able to achieve the deliciousness of okra without the slime. Woot! Don't believe me? Try this recipe. And make it look pretty, and take a picture, and send it to me!

I think the tricks to cooking okra slime-free are (1) use fresh okra, when possible (I've made this recipe with frozen okra in the past and noticed it was definitely slimier) (2) be as gentle as possible when cooking it. Stirring it around like crazy will only bring out more slime, and (3) add an acidic ingredient (eg. tomatoes) to the recipe if possible -- something in the acid helps cut down the slime (don't you just love my very scientific explanations for things).

Indian Eggplant and Okra Curry
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large eggplant, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 5 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 lb okra, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot, fry the cumin seeds in the olive oil over low heat.
2. Increase the heat, add the eggplant, and let cook for about 10-15 minutes just until it begins to soften.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the tumeric, cumin, red pepper, and coriander, and stir the mixture.
5. Add the okra and stir gently so as not to break the pieces. Let cook for 8 minutes.
6. Stir in the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.


  1. I didn't realize slime was such a concern with the okra. Maybe I have been lucky enough to have someone so diligent about slime prevention in okra preparation that it has never come to my attention. Very good job with this one; I bet it really does a number on the taste buds.

  2. I have never found Okra in Canada before! I wonder if it's in the frozen section. It looks like one of those vegetables I'd have to get the courage to try - much like the eggplant!

    Curry is difficult to photograph ... anything orangey-yellow tends to look like vomit (even when it tastes magnificent!).


  3. Cute post! I am sure it was very tasty. Good job on the tomatoes you little farmer.

  4. although I don't mean to be rude, I did notice that your recipe does not include ginger, chili pepper or garlic, three ingredients that are generally considered intrinsic to an "indian curry"

  5. Diophanes --

    Yes, ginger, chili pepper, and garlic are three popular Indian spices but they are certainly not included in EVERY Indian recipe. If all Indian dishes included every single popular Indian spice, then there would not be much variety in the tastes. This recipe is similar to the one my (Indian) mother and grandmother have been using for years and years. You can see that it uses cumin, tumeric, and coriander - three other very popular Indian spices and arguably more popular than the ones you mentioned. If you need further proof that not all Indian curries include the ingredients you listed, have a look at this website (, that contains tons of authentic Indian curry recipes. You will see MANY of the recipes don't include all of the ingredients you listed.

  6. I was reading the instructions, step 4 asked for red pepper. I had thought i missed it on the ingredient list, but its not there at all. YOu may want to correct that.

  7. baking the okra on 250 for 20 minute reduces the slime factor