Nariyal bhindi – Coconut and okra saute

August 7, 2008

Food shopping is never simple.

We weave through the aisles bickering about sell by dates and yogurt brands. Fight at the checkout about whose turn it is to pack/pay. Then arrive home with half the essentials missing.

This week it was different. As I turned the herb corner, I spotted bags of new Indian ingredients in my local supermarket.

Curry leaves? Okra? Aisle 2? Eternal bliss!

A silly smile crept on my face and stayed on. Despite the promotional 24-pack beer carton and ready-roasted battery chicken portion being loaded by the man into the trolley.

I entrusted the man with acquiring a bag of fresh frozen grated coconut from the Chinese store by his gym. He brought back fresh frozen shredded coconut instead.

I got to work on a recipe that was guaranteed to keep the smile on my face – soft and flavourful Nariyal Bhindi or Coconut Okra (Ladyfinger). Until the next supermarket trip…



Feeds 4-6:

  • 200gm grated or shredded coconut
  • 700 gm okra (ladyfinger)
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Half tsp chilli powder
  • Half tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste


Wash the okra in a colander under a cold water tap and leave to dry. This will get rid of the slime inside. I just left it by the cooker for 15 minutes. When it’s dry, slice off the tip and the ends and cut each one into 1.5 cm pieces.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat two tablespoons of oil over a high flame. When it is hot, stir in the sliced okra and all the powders apart from the garam masala.

Stir fry for five minutes taking care not to break the okra. Then mix in the remaining oil and coconut, salt to your taste and fry for another two minutes until the spices are mixed through.

Now lower the flame to medium, add about three to four tablespoons of hot water, cover and cook for about five to 10 minutes until the grated coconut has softened. If the water dries up early just add two tablespoons more at a time.

Finally mix in the garam masala, salt and serve hot as a side dish with curry.



8 Responses to “Nariyal bhindi – Coconut and okra saute”

  1. Kanchan Says:

    June 23rd, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Nice one. I had prepared masala bhindi (a different version of bhindi preparation). Here’s the recipe:

  2. Quick Indian Cooking » A Fool saves the day Says:

    November 4th, 2008 at 11:09 am

    […] decided to serve Pepper Chicken Curry with the Nariyal Bhindi I made earlier. As I did my thing, my man announced that he was going to help […]

  3. Elisabeth Winkler Says:

    August 10th, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Next time I see okra I will buy it – at last I have a recipe that makes me want to cook it! Can’t wait for an okra to cross my path. The opportunity must not slip through this lady’s fingers…

  4. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen Says:

    August 8th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Wow! This is the second post I have read about okra today! Okra must be the new something or other!

  5. Bharti Says:

    August 8th, 2008 at 7:32 am

    It is exciting to get Indian groceries at the regular supermarket! I love the combination of coconut and bhindi. Never eaten it before but it sounds so delicious. Is it a traditional recipe or one that you conjured up?

  6. tbc Says:

    August 7th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    The shredded coconut does make the dish look rather nice. Your hubby did know what he was doing after all. :D

  7. kathryn Says:

    August 7th, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    How lovely to get okra from your supermarket. And beautiful looking recipe Mallika.

  8. nags Says:

    August 7th, 2008 at 8:38 am

    quick and simple :) i posted an okra recipe recently too.

Leave a Reply


Join Mallika Basu's Mailing List