Sauteed Okra with Coconut and Indian Spices

okra dish
Photo: Joanna Garcia
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
25 mins

This quick one-pan side dish gets big flavor from four assertive spices: mustard and cumin seeds, asafetida, and turmeric.


  • ¼ cup safflower oil or ghee

  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (from 2 to 3 cloves)

  • 1 Thai chile, seeded if desired and thinly sliced

  • Pinch of asafetida

  • 12 ounces okra, trimmed and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces (3 cups)

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼ cup shredded fresh or thawed frozen coconut

  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • Juice of 1/2 lime (2 teaspoons)


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Add oil, then mustard and cumin seeds. Cook until mustard seeds turn gray and begin to pop, about 30 seconds. Add garlic, chile, and asafetida. Cook 30 seconds. Add okra, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until okra is tender and beginning to turn golden in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. Add coconut and turmeric and heat through. Stir in lime juice. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Frozen shredded coconut can be found in Indian grocers.

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