Okra Curry


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


    as a side curry

Appears in

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

Hidden Kitchens of Sri Lanka

By Bree Hutchins

Published 2013

  • About

Manike cooked this dish with fresh okra (referred to as ladies fingers in Sri Lanka) and plump juicy cherry tomatoes, which were grown on their plot of land. I love the freshness and simplicity of this dish; the flavours are delicate and it’s not too heavily spiced. Although she served it as a side curry, I could have easily devoured an entire bowl on its own.


  • 380 g (13½ oz/about 20) large okra (ladies fingers), about 10 cm (4 inches) long
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 6 small pink Asian shallots*, sliced
  • 2-3 thin green chillies*, cut into thirds
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, leaves picked
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons Manike’s thuna paha (or store-bought roasted curry powder)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil*
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) coconut milk*


Cut the ends off the okra and discard them, then slice each okra on the diagonal into three pieces. Place in a bowl with the tomatoes, shallots, chillies, curry leaves, turmeric, thuna paha and salt. Mix well to evenly coat the okra pieces in the spices.

Heat the coconut oil in a clay pot or heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the okra mixture and cook for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, then cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the okra are tender. Serve with a main curry and rice.