Okra Kichadi


Five tablespoons vegetable oil (note: coconut preferred)
1 pound fresh okra, trimmed and cut into thin slices
2 green chilies, split lengthwise
Salt to taste
1 cup grated, unsweetened coconut
Half teaspoon mustard seeds, coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle
Half teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle
15 curry leaves
One cup plain low-fat yogurt
Half-teaspoon mustard seeds
Two dried red peppers
One teaspoon fresh lemon juice


In a wok or large frying pan heat three (note: or four) tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add sliced okra and one green chile and stir-fry until the okra softens and browns around the edges. Stir in salt. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

In a food processor or blender combine coconut, coarsely ground mustard, cumin seeds, one green chile and five curry leaves with just enough water to make a fine paste. (note: if using desiccated coconut, re-constitute it in water or coconut milk for thirty minutes before blending.)

Wipe clean the wok, and combine in it coconut paste, yogurt, half-cup water and little salt. Bring mixture to a simmer — do not allow it to boil — and remove from heat immediately (or else yogurt will separate).

In a small covered frying pan over medium heat, heat mustard seeds, dried red peppers, and 10 curry leaves until the seeds begin to pop. Stir contents of pan into coconut-yogurt mixture.

Stir in fried okra, adding more water if necessary to form a thick but pourable mixture. Stir in lemon juice; taste for salt. Serve at room temperature.

It takes 40 minutes to prepare and serves six to eight people.

Note: Similar method can be used with eggplant or bitter melon instead of okra.

Source: Curried Favors, Maya Kaimal

(also spelled okra kichidi, okra kichedi)

2 thoughts on “Okra Kichadi”

  1. Hello Mr.Richard

    I had been a great fan of your curry site for the past 6 years or so and have recommended it to a lot of friends too. I am from Kerala, though I didn’t know kerala cooking, so I got to learn Keral cooking from you..!! I especially enjoy some of the comments that you write, like in the case of “Richard’s All COntinent Guaranteed Idly” recipe. I have a worn out print out of your recipe page as it was about 6 years ago.

    Thanks a lot
    and enjoy your food

  2. hi Leena,

    I just Tried this y’day as per the instuction u meantioned.It’s really came out well. My roommates told me “dileep it’s really good, let’s some more items like this”.

    Once gain my heartly thanks to u and wish u all the best in future.


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