This dish works great as a weekday meal and perfect as the entrée for a vegetarian meal. The potatoes, cut into large chunks, and cooked low and slow without falling apart, give a hearty, satisfying mouth feel. The okra, well, biased as I am about this ingredient, is soft and tender, completing the potatoes that are spiced just right, with a hint of tang from tamarind.


  • 1½ pounds okra/ochro
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ginger-garlic paste (see note below)
  • Minced hot pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Tamarind pulp to taste (see note below)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro/coriander (optional)


Dry Curry of Potatoes & Okra (Photo by Cynthia Nelson)


  1. Remove the stems and tops of okra, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Spread on a large plate or in a pan and air dry for half an hour. Meanwhile, peel and cut potatoes into 1 – 1½ inch chunks. Set aside in a bowl with tap water.


  1. Add oil to a pan heat over medium heat until hot.


  1. Add onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, hot pepper and salt to taste. Toss to mix well. Reduce heat to low and let cook uncovered until the vegetables are softened. The tomatoes should be pulpy and easy to mash with the back of a spoon.


  1. Raise heat to high and add the garam masala, chili powder, and tamarind pulp along with drained potatoes and salt to taste. Toss well to mix, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until the potatoes are half cooked.


  1. Remove lid and scatter okra on top of the potatoes. Cover pan and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover pan and gently toss the ingredients to incorporate okra, cover the pan again and cook for another 10 minutes or until a knife inserts easily into the potatoes and okra.
  2. Shut off heat and garnish with cilantro/coriander if using.



  • Ginger-garlic paste is a paste made of equal parts of garlic and ginger, grounded together or pureed with a little water.
  • To make the tamarind pulp, add tamarind to a bowl along with a little hot water and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Using cleaning hands, rub the tamarind to remove the pulp and discard the seeds.
  • Add as little or as much pulp as you like to the curry to give it a bit of tang. You can also choose to omit the pulp altogether from the curry.
  • Use a spatula to toss the ingredients as instructed in direction # 5 – this helps prevent the breaking up of the potatoes.

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