Indian Stir-Fried Chinese Okra (Turai Ki Sabzi) Recipe

Chinese okra
Meredith Heuer/Getty Images
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings Indian fried okra
Ratings (36)

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 elevated to something special and become a satisfying and delicious side dish or main meal.

What You'll Need

  • 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)
  • 2 dry red chilies, broken into small pieces (optional but gives the dish a nice kick)
  • 2 large onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste or finely chopped garlic
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

Prep the Turai/Okra

  1. 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.
  2. 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/Okra

  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 end result should be a fairly dry dish.
  9. Serve turai ki subzi with chapatis and your favorite daal.