Savoury Okra Curry: Indian Style

The savory okra curry is Indian vegetarian cuisine. This authentic recipe specifically belongs to India’s West Bengal region. It is popularly prepared in Bengali households and enjoyed appetizingly for lunch or dinner with steamed white rice.

This okra curry has a creamy texture derived from the luscious smooth paste of mustard and poppy seeds. The creaminess is well balanced with the chewy effect of the okra and potatoes.

Furthermore, this vegetarian recipe is a flavor bomb. The poppy seeds offer a natural sweetness to the dish while the mustard seeds & oil add a pungent taste. A hint of sourness is brought about by the tomato, while the chilies spice up this savory dish with a pleasant heat.

Okra is a superfood loaded with nutrition. Both okra and poppy seeds are great for the heart, bones, and digestive system. The other ingredients used in this savory okra curry have diverse health benefits as well.

For instance, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, green chilies, and coriander leaves are packed with anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, tomato and nigella seeds are superb antioxidants.

Preparation Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes; Cooking Time: 25 minutes; Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes


  • Okra (250 grams)
  • Black mustard seeds (30 grams)
  • Poppy seeds (30 grams)
  • 2 Potatoes (medium-sized)
  • 1 large tomato
  • Coriander leaves (10 grams)
  • 3 green chilies
  • Nigella seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Turmeric powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Mustard oil (4 tablespoons)
  • Water (250 ml)
  • Himalayan Salt to taste


Prepare the seeds:

  • To prep, the seeds, start with soaking both the mustard and poppy seeds in a bowl of water for 2 hours.
  • Once the seeds soften, drain the water and put them in a grinder. 
  • Add 1 green chili, a pinch of salt, and water (150ml) to the grinder. 
  • Grind everything together to form a smooth semi-liquid paste. Keep aside.

Prepare the vegetables:

  • Prep the okra by cutting and discarding both ends. Cut the long okras in half.
  • Once the potatoes are washed and peeled, make batonnet cuts (1/4 inch thickness). 
  • Roughly chop the tomato into cubes. 
  • Mince the coriander leaves. 
  • Slit the remaining 2 green chilies.

Let’s start cooking the savory okra curry:

  • Heat oil in a deep non-stick pan.
  • Turn the flame to medium and add the prepped okras and potatoes. Stir- Fry them for 10-15 minutes or until slightly brown. Take them out and keep aside for later use. 
  • In the same oil, add the 2 slit green chilies and nigella seeds. Allow them to sizzle for a minute. 
  • Now, add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for another minute. 
  • Next, it’s time to put the semi-liquid seed paste into the pan. Also, add the turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Stir fry for 6 minutes. 
  • As soon as you notice the mixture slightly sticking to the pan, add the water (100ml). Let it cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Finally, add the okras and potatoes. Cook them for 2 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle the fresh minced coriander leaves and give it a nice mix! Switch off the flame.
Your savory okra curry is ready!

Key Notes

  • If you wish to minimize the bold mustard flavor, use yellow mustard seeds and cook in coconut oil. 
  • It is important to cook the okras well to save them from turning slimy when added to the curry mixture. 
Prepare this savory okra curry at home for an exclusively delicious Indian style Sunday lunch with your family or friends. To relish it the classic Indian way, serve it hot with steamed fluffy Basmati rice.