Okra with Onions and Spicy Red Lentils

Manju Malhi's mouth-watering spiced okra is perfectly complemented by its accompaniment of aromatic lentil dal
By Manju Malhi
Okra with Onions and Spicy Red Lentils
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the okra with onions (Bhindi Pyaz)

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 green chilli, seeds removed and chopped
  • 150 g okra, cut at an angle into bite size pieces
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

For the spicy red lentils (Masala Dal)

  • 250 g Puy lentils
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 dried chilli, or 1 green chilli, stalk removed but left whole
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 500 ml boiled water

To serve

  • brown pitta bread
  • basmati rice
  • Greek yogurt


1. To make the okra with onions; heat the oil in a frying pan and gently cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 1 minute.

2. Add the okra, salt, turmeric, cumin and ground coriander.

3. Continue to cook gently for 5-6 minutes. The mixture may turn slightly gooey, but as it cooks it, it will dry out.

4. Stir in the ginger, cook for 30 seconds and turn off the heat.

5. Sprinkle over the coriander leaves.

6. To make the spicy red lentils; soak the lentils in a bowl of cold water for about 3 minutes, then drain well.

7. Heat the butter in a pan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes.

8. Stir in the turmeric, garlic, chilli and salt and cook for 1 minute.

9. Add the drained lentils and stir again.

10. Pour the water into the pan, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Check half-way through to make sure that the water hasn't evaporated. If it looks dry, add a little more water and continue to simmer. The finished dal will be thick and yellow.

11. Serve both dishes with brown pitta bread, basmati rice and a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.

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