Okra and other African vegetables are easy to cook in our modern and traditional recipes (www.africanepicure.com)

Okra! (Flickr: NatalieMaynor)

This is originally a South Indian recipe that we adapted to make simpler and easier, for the African kitchen. Buy your okra fresh and small, as the larger and older ones get pithy and inedible. If you feel any okra pods that are hard and unpliable, throw them in the compost as they’ll be impossible to chew.

Turmeric is a super food and an big anti-inflammatory, chocked full of calcium and other good things. This dish is a good side dish to an African-Indian meal and makes a simple lunch served with rice or chapatis.

Dry Sauteed Okra with Turmeric

(Serves 4 as a side dish)

500 g. / 1 lb. okra

2 tablespoons olive oil or the cooking oil you prefer

1 tablespoon powdered turmeric, thereabouts


1. Top and tail each okra pod, leaving the top cap totally intact. Just trim the very tips of the stems and the ends of pod. Then, cut a single slit from the bottom of each pod two-thirds up the okra pod.

2. Heat a large saute pan on very high heat and add the oil. When  the oil is shiny, gently add the okra. There should be enough room in the pan so that all the pods are lying flat.

3. Saute the okra on high heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly so that they cook evenly. They will turn a vibrant green.

4. After 10 minutes, as the okra have softened and turned a deeper green, add the salt and turmeric. Stir gently to coat, and keep cooking until the okra are lightly browned on most side.

5. Serve hot. These reheat okay, but must be served hot. Okra is not a good cold vegetable.


We hope that you enjoyed our “Gateway Okra” recipe!

For more about okra, a very nice and often overlooked African vegetable, we suggest:

About Okra
Cooking with Okra

For more about how to use African vegetables in the kitchen, check out:

Cooking with African Vegetables
About African Vegetables