Okra Lentil Curry

Okra Dal3“Make a pledge, starting today,

To add a vegetable, to your lentils everyday.

Wholesome & tasty, it adds something new,

Without complicating, your daily stew.

Experiment to taste, peppers red or leaves green,

Chop em all up, so they can’t be seen.

I know you’ll love it, get ready to be surprised,

And worst case? just eat it with french fries!”

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¾ cup yellow lentils (toor dal), soaked for 1 hour in warm water

1 plum tomato, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ teaspoon fresh ginger, crushed

1 small red onion, diced

1 cup okra, cut into 1 inch pieces

5-6 stalks of fresh coriander, stems removed and roughly chopped

1 dried red chili

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon cumin powder

2 teaspoons coriander powder

½ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchoor)

¾ teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon red chili powder (more if you want it spicy)

A pinch of asafetida (hing powder)

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

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Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds and wait for them to start spluttering. Add the garlic & ginger and sauté for a minute. Mix in the onions and cook till they turn translucent – a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, along with all the dry spices. Mix well, cover and cook on medium-low flame till tomatoes are soft & tender. Crush them well with a spatula and then add in the okra. Stir for a few minutes and stir in the lentils [you do not need to drain them]. Mix well and add approximately 4 cups of water. Turn heat to medium-high till the mixture comes to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer for about 45 minutes-1 hour, till the lentils are soft and fully cooked [the time does depend on the quality of lentils and the hardness of water]. Continue to cook for 5-6 extra minutes till the consistency is thick and creamy. Sprinkle fresh coriander, remove from heat and serve hot with rotis, rice or bread.

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