Okra and Green Pigeon Pea Curry

22 Oct

Okra is not a vegetable I have ever seen in Spain and I´m determined to track down some seeds so that I can try to grow it next summer. Greg over at Rufus´ Food & Spirits Guide has great success with his crop, and some amazing okra recipes.

Our little temporary home town of Bexhill on Sea boasts a Caribbean food store and I often pop in for a chat with the friendly owner and a look around for new products. Recently he had fresh okra in store, so I snapped up a bag. In addition I spotted a tin of Green Pigeon Peas, something very new to me, so they went into the basket as well. Two final purchases of a small jar of Thai yellow curry paste (yes, I know I should have made it, but it was all natural ingredients with no additives, so I didn´t feel too guilty) and a can of coconut milk.

I planned on making a vegetable curry from a mix of fresh and store cupboard ingredients, and I have to say I was thrilled with the results. A great “cheat´s” curry for when you don´t have time to make your own paste or spice mix.

Ingredients (to serve four people with rice or noodles)

  • About two heaped tablespoons of your favourite curry paste
  • About 200g of okra, washed and sliced
  • One can of green pigeon peas
  • One medium onion, halved and cut into medium slices
  • One courgette, cut into medium slices
  • About 10 medium mushrooms cut into slices (not too thin)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed and cooked for about 5 minutes in boiling water then drained
  • A can of coconut milk
  • Fresh natural yogurt and fresh coriander to serve
  • Oil for frying

Start by gently frying the onions in a little oil until they start to soften then add the okra and courgette. Cover the pan and cook for a few minutes then add the mushrooms, potatoes and pigeon peas. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes then add the paste and fry off for a minute or two. Finally add the coconut milk and simmer until the potatoes are completely tender. If the mixture looks like it is getting too dry, add a splash of water. Just before serving stir in a couple of tablespoons of natural yogurt and some chopped coriander. Delicious with rice or noodles and the perfect dish to warm you up from the inside out.


56 Responses to “Okra and Green Pigeon Pea Curry”

  1. cookinginsens October 22, 2012 at 10:05 #

    Nice curry. I like that you made it using two very “Southern” American ingredients; pidgeon peas and okra.

  2. 76sanfermo Biancardi October 22, 2012 at 10:49 #

    I’m sure I’ll try it very soon! Thank you for sharing ,muchas gracias!

  3. expatchef October 22, 2012 at 11:11 #

    I adore pidgeon peas! In the bahamas, the accompaniment to all dishes is Peas n Rice, with pidgeon peas! And I adore okra. I can find it here in Barcelona, at the latin and caribbean stalls in the market…..maybe it hasn’t travelled that far south yet! You’re idea to mix the two in a curry is awesome! Looks delicious and healthy to boot!

    • Chica Andaluza October 22, 2012 at 12:12 #

      Yes, okra hasn´t reached Andalucía yet – at least, I´ve never seen it so that´s why I´d love to grow it! Glad you like the dish – it was very good indeed 🙂

      • expatchef October 22, 2012 at 12:30 #

        *Sigh* I want your garden. Waiting for my Radicchio to mature so I can eat it!

  4. Florence October 22, 2012 at 11:22 #

    Hi T, If you track down any seeds I will have a packet as well!! please. Curry looks delicious.
    Take care both,
    Florence x

  5. TheDorsetFinca October 22, 2012 at 11:36 #

    This looks so yummy and warming – I have never tried Okra before… I will have to investigate! x

    • Chica Andaluza October 22, 2012 at 12:13 #

      Some people find it a little slimy when it´s cooked, but to be honest I find is disappears once it´s done – especially if the okra is nice and fresh 🙂

  6. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 22, 2012 at 12:40 #

    I still haven’t made an okra with curry. This looks great. Thanks for the inspiration and the mention.

    • Chica Andaluza October 22, 2012 at 16:21 #

      Can highly recommend it – and thanks too to you for the okra inspiration!

  7. gardenfreshtomatoes October 22, 2012 at 13:37 #

    Ha! I just glanced at the post title in the reader before I clicked on it – I thought it WAS Greg…. I might need more coffee this morning 🙂
    Great recipe. Okra should grow well for you in your climate. Wish I could just send you some seeds…but the Authorities have ‘issues’ with that.

    • Chica Andaluza October 22, 2012 at 16:22 #

      Yes, Greg is the King of Okra! I think it should grow well in the heat of our summers, so I am now on a mission to track some seeds down here in the UK…fingers crossed 🙂 but thanks for the kind offer!

  8. Natalie Ward October 22, 2012 at 15:39 #

    I’ve never cooked with okra before, I am one of those who find it slimy but I’m sure it’s just the way you cook it. I know Greg always raves about it so next time I see some I’m buying it because it sounds delish in a curry with some sort of legume – maybe not pigeon peas, I’m pushing it with being able to get hold of okra here!!

    • Chica Andaluza October 22, 2012 at 16:22 #

      Yes, even the pigeon peas were tinned here. Let me know if you do ever find okra in Spain!

  9. chaiselongue1 October 22, 2012 at 18:51 #

    I haven’t seen okra here either, although I remember eating them in North Africa when I was a child. This looks delicious and you’re lucky to have a nearby Caribbean food store!

  10. Mad Dog October 22, 2012 at 20:39 #

    Sometimes making up a curry paste can work out expensive if you don’t have the ingredients to hand, especially in temporary accommodation. That looks very good 😉
    Interestingly the Japanese sound guy I worked with recently, was very keen to eat okra in a local Indian restaurant, because he can’t get it in Germany, where he lives.

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 12:42 #

      You´re right – at home I have all the spices to hand but here it´s a different story! How funny that okra is so readily available in some countries and scarce in others….

  11. narf77 October 22, 2012 at 20:56 #

    A veggie recipe that I find myself twitching to contemplate eating…its okra! Its one of the only vegetables that makes me twitch. After past terrifying experiments that reinacted what happens when you poke a slime eel with a stick I haven’t been able to put that stuff on my plate let alone into my mouth. Yours looks deceptively subdued on that plate…I wonder if the Caribbean treatment makes this reactive vegetable tame?

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 12:43 #

      There seems to be a large group of poeple who side with you in regard to Okra – I think this would be good with courgette (zucchini) if you really cant stomach it, but if the okra is fresh and firm it shouldn´t present too much of a slime eel problem!

  12. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen October 23, 2012 at 01:10 #

    Pigeon Peas and okra.. this is what I love about your blog. You introduce me to new flavors and combinations. I can just picture making this.. it’s so cold here, the heat would be welcome, indeed!

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 13:23 #

      I had never tried pigeon peas either – it´s always fun to discover new flavours!

  13. ChgoJohn October 23, 2012 at 02:08 #

    The curry caught my eye but the okra gives me pause. Its texture can be off-putting and I’m not adept at cooking it. I should give this curry a try, though. You haven’t led me wrong yet, Tanya. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 13:24 #

      I understand your hesitation John – it seems a lot of people just don´t enjoy that texture. I have to say, in with the other veggies and the sauce, I didn´t notice a hint of “slime”!

  14. annashortcakes October 23, 2012 at 02:31 #

    If you give me your address, I will send you some seed. They were originally from my great grandfather so we don’t know the variety but we love them! I am sure you would too!

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 13:27 #

      Seriously? That would be amazing…thank you so much! And the fact that they were originally from your great grandfather would make them extra, extra special. Will send you a message separately 🙂

      • annashortcakes October 31, 2012 at 21:28 #

        I still haven’t gotten a message from you… do you have my email address?

      • Chica Andaluza November 2, 2012 at 09:32 #

        Ooh .- thought I had sent it, maybe I ended up in your junk mail folder? Will try again…sorry, how rude must you think I was?!

      • annashortcakes November 2, 2012 at 14:42 #

        I got your second email. It probably did end up as junk. No worries. I don’t think you are rude at all! I will send them off to you in a few days. Sadly I have to work these next few days so I will be devoted only to it. Have a wonderful weekend!

  15. Eha October 23, 2012 at 03:32 #

    This I really want to try! I have come up against okra mainly in Cajun/Creole dishes: at times we here in Oz wrinkle our nose as it can come out somewhat slimy 😦 ! Is not readily available either. But since I’ll reach for anything resembling a curry, will be delighted to attempt 🙂 !

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 13:27 #

      Ah, that slime issue – it really wasn´t an issue as once it was in the with other veggies and the sauce, it wasn´t at all slimy!

  16. Peri's Spice Ladle October 23, 2012 at 04:30 #

    What an interesting set of of ingredients and many of my favorites like mushroom, pigeon peas and okra, must try:) And on the topic of growing okra, ‘beware the okra bush’, those grow pretty fast & profuse! But what can be better than picking okra from your own backyard…

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 13:49 #

      Ooh – didn´t realise they grew into big bushes (need to do my homework)…will have to think carefully about where we put it!

  17. Pendle Stitches October 23, 2012 at 06:50 #

    Suttons Seeds or Mr Fothergill’s Seeds both offer Okra seeds. Most large garden centres stock these ranges or, of course, you could buy online.

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 13:50 #

      Thanks for this tip! I am determined that this coming summer I will have home grown okra 🙂

      • Pendle Stitches October 23, 2012 at 14:14 #

        Good luck with them. I’m happy to help.

      • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 18:21 #

        Thank you Evie!

  18. Tandy October 23, 2012 at 11:56 #

    There is nothing wrong with using a good premade curry! I will look out for pigeon peas 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 13:52 #

      I agree Tandy – thanks for the vote of confidence!

  19. cecilia October 23, 2012 at 15:05 #

    Pigeon peas!? They sounded a wee bit nasty to start but now I see that they were a lovely addition.. I always use curry paste, actually I have just never gotton around to grinding up my own spices.. bad me.. however this recipe suits me just fine.. c

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 18:21 #

      Now you mention it, it sounds like an outbreak of gippy tummy in Trafalgar Square 😉

      • cecilia October 23, 2012 at 19:13 #

        Laughter!! c

  20. Bluejellybeans October 23, 2012 at 22:42 #

    It looks delicious Tanya!
    Nunca he probado la okra, ¿qué tipo de vegetal es?
    Saludos 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza October 23, 2012 at 23:04 #

      Parece a un pequeño (pero gordo) habichuela verde pero totalmente diferente! Es muy difícil explicar pero me gusta mucho – a mucha gente no le gusta porque tiene a veces una textura un poquito como un “gel”…también difícil a explicar. No creo que esto ha ayudado mucho, lo siento 🙂

  21. Karista October 26, 2012 at 19:10 #

    I adore curry of any kind and this looks fantastic! I grew up on okra, coming from Arkansas. We fry it though. And use it in gumbo and stews. However, a curried okra sounds divine and a lovely alternative to my childhood fried okra. LOL!

  22. Charles October 28, 2012 at 23:03 #

    Pigeon Peas? 😀 Love it – I’ve never heard of them… I’ll have to try and track some down. I’m a big fan of okra though. I can get it in my local supermarket, although it’s expensive as all hell. Really lovely though – lovely to slice… all slimy but crunchy and crisp at the same time!

    • Chica Andaluza October 31, 2012 at 09:36 #

      Yes, pigeon peas won´t be found in Spain but maybe in Paris you´ll have some ethnic stores?

  23. Lois June 1, 2013 at 09:09 #

    I love okra… when it is properly cooked and I don’t always manage that! Delicious sounding recipe so maybe I should try it, but what are pigeon peas?

    • Chica Andaluza June 2, 2013 at 10:39 #

      Here’s a link to pigeon peas, I came across them tinned! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pigeon_pea

      • Lois June 2, 2013 at 10:44 #

        Thank you, I’ll look in the tinned veg but next time I go to Bristol I’m sure I’ll find some of them in the Asian supermarkets or Caribbean shops there… they sound yummy!.

      • Chica Andaluza June 2, 2013 at 10:48 #

        From memory, mine came from a local Caribbean shop (in the UK, none here in Spain)!

  24. salima aqiqah December 18, 2015 at 04:49 #

    my father was very fond addition to pan-fried okra she also liked the grilled okra have you tried ??

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