Red Lentil & Okra Curry

Curried bhindi in dhal

Red lentils are a good source of protein, B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre. They have low glycemic index. Mucilage (viscous fibre) in okra helps lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar. This curry doesn’t need curry powder.

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan, add lentils, turmeric and 1 teaspoon oil. Bring back to boil, reduce heat to medium, cook partially covered, until lentils are soft (about 20 minutes). Stir in salt and keep aside.

  2. Wash okra, wipe with a clean cloth or a tea towel. Cut into 2 cm pieces

  3. Heat 3 teaspoons of oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and dry red chillies. Fry until chillies start to turn brown. Stir in green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida (if using). Add okra, fry until it begins to soften. Add tamarind juice and cook until okra is tender.

  4. Add cooked lentils to the okra cooking on the stove, mix well and cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in coriander leaves.

Serve with brown rice or brown basmati rice.

Tips and variations: 

  •  Any of your favourite vegetables can be used instead of okra. But avoid using potato or sweet potato, as this will increase the calorie and carbohydrate content.   

  • Recipe is suitable for freezing and can be refrigerated for 2-3 days.   

Per serve: energy 939 kJ (224 cal); protein 12 g; fat 7 g; saturated fat 1 g; cholesterol 0 mg; carbohydrate 21 g; fibre 13 g; calcium 125 mg; iron 5.2 mg; sodium 394 mg

Serves 3


½ cup red lentils, washed

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil + 3 teaspoons 

½ teaspoon salt


300g okra

½ teaspoon black mustard seeds

½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds

4-6 dry red chillies, broken into halves

2 green chillies, sliced

2 tablespoons chopped curry leaves

Large pinch asafoetida (optional)

2-3 teaspoons tamarind paste mixed in ½ cup water 


2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves