Curried Okra With Onions

fresh sliced okra, tomatoes, and onions with curry powder

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 14 mins
Total: 19 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
73 Calories
5g Fat
7g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 73
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 104mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 19mg 93%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 220mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Okra is a popular vegetable in many parts of the world. Where okra originated is up for debate, but many believe it came from Africa or South Asia. Okra is an important vegetable in Southern cooking. It was probably brought to the U.S. from Africa in the early 1700s. By 1800, it was a common vegetable across the Southern U.S.

The characteristic "slimy" substance helps to thicken gumbos and other soups, but the texture can be off-putting when okra is cooked in other ways, particularly if the dish contains liquids. There are some ways to reduce the sliminess. Acidic ingredients can help decrease the unpleasant texture. A bit of lemon juice, tamarind, or vinegar can help, or cook the okra with complementary tomatoes. Or try soaking it in a vinegar and water solution, a method that many cooks swear by—for each cup of water, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar. Because the goo in okra interacts with liquids, it is also important to dry the pods thoroughly and cook them quickly (to avoid steam). Fried okra and roasted okra also tend to be less slimy. 

This okra dish makes a tasty vegetarian dish when served over hot boiled rice, or serve it with Southern fried chicken, pork chops, or steaks.


  • 1 pound okra

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 tomato, or about 1 cup diced canned tomatoes

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 dash cayenne pepper, or more to taste

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Wash the okra pods and dry them thoroughly. Cut off and discard the tips and stem ends from the okra pods. Cut the okra into 1/2-inch rounds.

  3. Heat the oil in a large heavy nonstick or well-seasoned iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the sliced okra and stir-fry for 10 minutes, stirring and turning frequently to keep it from sticking.

  4. Meanwhile, core the tomato; remove the seeds and dice it. Peel the onion and cut it into quarters; slice thinly. Set aside.

  5. When the okra is beginning to brown, add the diced tomato, sliced onion, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and curry powder, to taste.

  6. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes longer, or until the onions are tender.

  7. Taste and add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed.


  • When choosing fresh okra, look for bright green pods no longer than 4 inches. They should be firm and free from blemishes and damage. One pound of fresh trimmed okra yields approximately 4 cups of slices.

Recipe Variations

  • If you like to experiment with flavors when you cook, some complementary seasonings and ingredients include basil, corn, coriander, Creole or Cajun seasoning blend, cumin, curry powder, garlic, Hollandaise sauce, lemon, onions, parsley, sweet bell peppers, tomatoes, and tomato sauces.


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