Bomya or Qorma-e-shast-e-arus

Okra stew with lentils & smoked yoghurt

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Okra is such a beautiful vegetable, when it is handled well. If you worry about it living up to its unfortunate reputation of being a little slimy, this recipe will ease your concerns. Remember to always choose small and straight okra, as the larger ones may be a bit tough.

This is a really rich and tasty stew, which you can serve as is, or with rice or chapatti. If you like a bit more fire, use a small green chilli in the stew, otherwise opt for a long green one, which will give you the same flavour without the heat.

Preparation 20 minutes + 30 minutes soaking
Cooking 50 minutes


  • 50 g (1ยพ oz) puy lentils
  • 100 ml (3ยฝ fl oz) olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 Indian green chilli, chopped
  • 450 g (1 lb) very ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) okra, washed, topped and tailed
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable stock or water
  • Smoked yoghurt, to serve
  • 1 teaspoon chopped dill


Rinse the lentils and leave to soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes.

In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil over high heat until smoking. Add the onion and fry for about 3 minutes, or until golden.

Drain the lentils and add them to the pan, along with the chilli and tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

Add the okra and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30โ€“35 minutes, or until the stew thickens and the lentils are soft. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve with dollops of the smoked yoghurt, and sprinkled with the dill.