Janice's Okra

This recipe comes from Janice D'Souza, who grew up in the Manglorean Catholic community of South India. This is a summer recipe, requiring fresh okray. See the notes regarding shortcuts and ingredient sources. See other recipes in Janice D'souza's Mangalorean meal from Kentucky ingredients here.


1/3 cup cooking oil of your choice, or enough to cover the bottom of a large cast iron skillet generously

1 Tablespoon cumin seeds (North Indian flavor), mustard seeds (South Indian flavor), or both

1/2 cup finely chopped red (also known as purple) onion

1 pound fresh okra, sliced in thin cross-wise pieces about 1/4 inch wide

1/2 cup shredded coconut


  1. Heat a large black skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add oil. 
  2. Add chopped onion and cumin or mustard seeds. Stir frequently until the onion is lightly brown.
  3. Add the okra slices and stir frequently for about five minutes, until lightly cooked and some edges are browning.
  4. Add coconut; stir and serve.


  1. Sources of freshly grated coconut: For people not in the habit of extracting shredded flesh from a fresh coconut, Janice recommends buying frozen shredded coconut from any Indian grocery.
  2. Janice says this dish is good with ginger-garlic paste added in along with the onion. For people in a hurry, Indian groceries also sell small jars of ginger paste, garlic paste, or a blend of the two that includes twice as much garlic as ginger, by volume. All these work well in this recipe. After opening, the jars of garlic and ginger pastes will keep several weeks in the refrigerator.