Okra Stir Fry

Okra stir fry, also known as vendakkai or ladies finger, is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that highlights the combination of succulent okra with Indian spices and unique seasoning.

Okra Stir Fry

Are you looking for a delicious and unique way to prepare okra? Look no further than this mouthwatering okra stir fry recipe. The combination of spices and cooking technique in this recipe truly brings out the best flavors of this versatile vegetable. Follow along to learn how to create this tasty dish in just a few simple steps.

What Is Okra Stir Fry?

  • Okra stir fry, also known as vendakkai or ladies finger, is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that highlights the combination of succulent okra with Indian spices and unique seasoning. This vegetarian dish is a popular side dish in many Indian households, and it is loved for its flavorful taste and crunchy texture. The okra is cut into thin rounds and sautéed with sliced onions, green chilies, and a blend of spices. The addition of ghee towards the end adds a rich and nutty flavor to the dish, making it a delightful accompaniment to any meal.

Why You'll Love Okra Stir Fry?

  • Deliciously Crispy Texture: The okra stir fry has a unique and delightful crispy texture that is addictive and satisfying. The thin rounds of okra become perfectly tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, creating a mouthwatering contrast in every bite.
  • Packed with Nutrients: Okra is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is known to be high in fiber, which is great for digestion, and also contains essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate.
  • Low in Calories: This stir fry is a healthy choice for those watching their calorie intake. Okra is low in calories, making it a great option for anyone looking to enjoy a flavorful dish without compromising their health goals.
  • Supports Weight Management: Due to its high fiber content, okra stir fry can help you feel full and satisfied, making it easier to manage your weight and prevent overeating.
  • May Help Lower Cholesterol: The soluble fiber found in okra has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels, promoting heart health and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Versatile and Easy to Prepare: Whether you're a novice cook or a seasoned chef, okra stir fry is simple to prepare and incredibly versatile. It can be enjoyed as a side dish with rice or roti, or even as a standalone snack.

Incorporating okra stir fry into your regular meals can not only add a burst of flavor and texture but also provide a range of health benefits, making it a must-try recipe for anyone looking to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.

Ingredients for Okra Stir Fry

  • Okra (vendakkai/ladies finger): Okra adds a unique texture to the stir fry and is packed with nutrients and dietary fiber.
  • Green chilies: Green chilies add a spicy kick to the stir fry, enhancing the overall flavor and adding a touch of heat.
  • Onion: Thinly sliced onions add a sweet and savory flavor to the dish, complementing the natural taste of okra.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the flavor of the ingredients and helps to bring out the natural taste of the okra.
  • Oil: Oil is used for frying the ingredients and adds richness to the stir fry.
  • Ghee: Ghee adds a rich and nutty flavor to the dish and helps to brown the okra, adding a delicious caramelized taste.

How To Make Okra Stir Fry?

To make a delicious okra stir fry, follow these simple steps:

  • Heat a pan with oil over medium heat. When the oil heats, add mustard seeds and urad dal and fry until spluttering. This step is important as it helps release the flavors of the mustard seeds and urad dal, adding a depth of flavor to the stir fry.
  • Then add sliced onion and green chilies, and fry until the onions are translucent. Frying the onions and green chilies together creates a fragrant base for the stir fry.
  • Further add the sliced okra and saute for one minute. This step is crucial to ensure that the okra is evenly coated with the flavors from the onions, green chilies, and spices.
  • Then add salt and stir fry for another 5 minutes, making sure to keep stirring it now and then for even cooking. Adding salt at this stage helps to draw out the natural moisture from the okra, resulting in a more tender and flavorful dish.
  • After 5 minutes, add ghee and saute until the okra gets nicely browned. The addition of ghee at the end adds a rich and nutty flavor to the stir fry, elevating the overall taste of the dish.

By following these steps, you can create a flavorful and aromatic okra stir fry that is sure to be a hit at the dinner table.

Serving Suggestions

  • Pair with Rice: This okra stir fry pairs well with steamed white rice or aromatic basmati rice for a wholesome and satisfying meal.
  • Serve with Roti or Naan: For a more indulgent meal, serve the okra stir fry with warm, fluffy roti or naan bread to soak up the flavorful juices.
  • Accompany with Yogurt Raita: Balance out the spiciness of the stir fry with a refreshing side of yogurt raita, made with yogurt and a variety of fresh vegetables and spices.
  • Include a Lentil Dish: Complete the meal by including a lentil dish such as dal or sambar to add protein and heartiness to the meal.
  • Add a Fresh Salad: A side of fresh cucumber or tomato salad with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of chaat masala adds a refreshing and tangy element to the meal.
  • Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Sprinkle chopped coriander or curry leaves on top of the okra stir fry for a burst of freshness and flavor.

Tips for Okra Stir Fry

Furthermore, I would like to give some of my suggestions and tips for a perfect okra stir fry.

  • Firstly, Wash the ladies finger well then pat it dry with a kitchen tissue. Then cut off the head and tail and then cut them into small pieces as shown in the picture. Don’t cut too small as it will become sticky. Some people avoid this vegetable because of its slimy nature. Adding ghee makes the slimness out of the okra and makes it crispier. Some people add curd or lemon juice to get rid of the slimness.
  • Secondly, you can also add red chili powder or sambar powder instead of green chilies for a spicy dish which is suitable for sambar.
  • Finally, you can cook this dish as you like. If you want it to be crispier, then cook it for longer. But don’t cook it for a too long of a time – 8 to 10 mins are good enough to fry in order to get its nutritional benefits fully.

Variations for Okra Stir Fry

  • Spice it up: Add a pinch of red chili powder or a dash of garam masala to give the stir fry a spicy kick.
  • Add some crunch: Throw in some chopped cashews or peanuts for an extra crunch and nutty flavor.
  • Herb it up: Sprinkle some freshly chopped cilantro or curry leaves at the end for a burst of fresh herb flavor.
  • Citrus twist: Squeeze some lemon or lime juice over the finished stir fry for a tangy and refreshing flavor.
  • Coconut delight: Sprinkle some freshly grated coconut on top before serving for a tropical twist.
  • Protein boost: Mix in some pan-fried tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian protein boost.

Experiment with these variations to take your okra stir fry to a whole new level of deliciousness!

How to Store Okra Stir Fry

  • Proper Storage for Freshness: To maintain the freshness of the okra stir fry, it is important to store the cut okra in an airtight container or ziplock bag. This will prevent moisture from building up and keep the okra fresh for longer.
  • Refrigeration is Key: Store the prepared okra stir fry in the refrigerator to ensure it stays fresh. It is best to consume the stir fry within 2-3 days to enjoy the best flavor and texture.
  • Avoid Freezing: While it is possible to freeze okra stir fry, the texture may become mushy when thawed. It is best to consume the stir fry fresh or refrigerated rather than freezing it.
  • Separate Ingredients for Better Storage: If you have leftover ingredients such as sliced onions and green chilies, store them separately in airtight containers to maintain their freshness. This will also make it easier to use them for other recipes.
  • Keep Seasonings Handy: Store the mustard seeds, urad dal, salt, and ghee in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Properly storing these key ingredients will ensure they are ready to use for another delicious okra stir fry.
  • Reheating Tips: When reheating the okra stir fry, do so gently over low heat to avoid overcooking and maintain its texture. Enjoy the flavors of the stir fry again by reheating it just enough to warm it through.


How do I prevent okra from getting slimy in the stir fry?

  • To prevent okra from getting slimy, make sure to wash and dry the okra thoroughly before cutting. You can also add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar while cooking to reduce the sliminess.

Can I replace ghee with other oils?

  • Yes, you can replace ghee with other cooking oils like vegetable oil or coconut oil. However, using ghee adds a rich flavor to the stir fry.

How do I know when the okra is nicely browned?

  • The okra will turn a darker shade of green and start to crisp up when it is nicely browned. Be sure to keep an eye on it to prevent burning.

Can I add other vegetables to the stir fry?

  • You can definitely add other vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or even potatoes to the stir fry for added flavor and nutrition. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I make this stir fry less spicy?

  • If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of green chilies or even remove them entirely. You can also add a pinch of sugar to balance out the heat.

How should I store the leftover stir fry?

  • Allow the stir fry to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving.

Recipe Card

Okra Stir Fry

Okra Stir Fry 2018-04-02 04:54:58

Serves 2    

Prep Time   00:10        

Cooking Time   00:12        

Total Time   00:22                      


  • okra/vendakkai/ladies finger -300g, cut into thin rounds
  • green chilies -2, slitted
  • medium sized onion -1/2, thinly sliced
  • salt -1/4 tsp
  • oil -1/2 tbsp
  • ghee -1 tsp
  • mustard seeds and urad dal -1/2 tsp          


  • Heat a pan with oil over medium heat. When the oil heats, add mustard seeds and urad and fry until spluttering.
  • Then add sliced onion and green chilies, fry until the onions are translucent.
  • Further add okra and saute for one minute.
  • Then add salt and stir fry for another 5 mins.
  • Keep stirring it now and then for even cooking.
  • After 5 mins add ghee and saute till the okra gets nicely browned.       

By Santhi Therese    The Indian Claypot


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