Indian Stir-Fried Chinese Okra (Turai Ki Sabzi)

Stir-Fried Okra

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
83 Calories
1g Fat
18g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 83
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 193mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Protein 4g
Calcium 139mg 11%
*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.)

Turai Ki Sabzi is a North Indian recipe for stir-fried Chinese okra.

By itself, turai or Chinese okra is fairly neutral tasting and considered pretty boring by most people. Made well, however, it can be transformed into something special and become a satisfying and delicious side dish or main meal.


  • 1 pound (1/2 kg) turai (Chinese Okra prepped as described below)
  • 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil like vegetable, canola, or sunflower
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Saunf (fennel seeds)
  • Optional: 2 dry red chilies (broken into small pieces, gives the dish a nice kick)
  • 2 large onions (sliced thinly)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste or garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 large tomatoes (chopped fine)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste

Steps to Make It

Prep the Turai

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Since the entire vegetable has hard ridges on its surface, it will need special preparation. After washing and patting each turai dry. Cut the tops and bottoms of each turai and then, using a vegetable peeler, scrape off the hard ridges.

  3. The skin between the ridges can be left on because it is quite soft. Cut the turai into circular, disc-shaped pieces, roughly 1/3 inch thick.

Cook the Turai

  1. Set up a wok or kadhai on medium heat. When the wok is hot, add the cooking oil to it and heat.

  2. To the hot oil, add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Allow them to splutter. When the spluttering stops, add the dry red chili pieces and sauté for 30 seconds. The chilies will turn a slightly darker color.

  3. Now add the sliced onions and sauté them until they are soft. (The onions give the dish a characteristic sweetness so do not brown the onions as they will lose this sweetness.) Stir frequently while sautéing the onions, to prevent them from burning.

  4. Add the garlic paste or chopped garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

  5. Now add the tomatoes and sauté till they begin to turn soft and pulpy.

  6. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and red chili powder, season to taste with salt and stir well. Sauté this mixture (known as a masala) until the oil begins to separate from it. This shows that the masala is cooked.

  7. Now add the turai that you prepared earlier. Sprinkle with water and stir well to ensure the pieces are nicely coated with the masala.

  8. Cook until the turai is soft but not pulpy (al dente). Stir often while cooking to prevent burning. If you find during the process that the dish is turning dry, feel free to sprinkle a little water to aid the cooking. The result should be a fairly dry dish.

  9. Serve turai ki subzi with chapatis and your favorite daal.

  10. Enjoy!