Spicy Okra, Zucchini, Beans & Tomatoes

This recipe is adapted from the Spicy Okra and Tomatoes recipe on The Spruce Eats website. I’ve adapted it to use what’s in season and what’s growing now in the community garden. Cooking okra this way, without much liquid and with a fair amount of acid from the tomatoes, minimises the ‘slime’ factor so many people associate with okra. The Indian-style spices make this dish perfect for a vegetarian meal with rice and lentils.


  • 500g mixed okra, zucchini, beans and capsicum ( you can use some or all of these )
  • 1 medium onion ( brown or red)
  • 3 medium tomatoes ( I peeled mine but that’s optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small red chilli ( or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • black pepper or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 1.Trim the okra, zucchini and bean ends and cut into bite size pieces.
  • 2. Clean and cut capsicum into bite size pieces.
  • 3. Peel and thinly slice the onion
  • 4. Chop the tomatoes, reserving their juices; peel and mince the garlic
  • 5. Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to brown.
  • 6. Add the garlic and cook stirring as the spices sizzle, another 30 seconds.
  • 7. Add the chilli powder, cumin seeds, turmeric and pepper (or cayenne, if using) and cook, stirring as the spices sizzle, another 30 seconds
  • 8. Add the vegetables and stir to coat the pieces with the onion-spice mixture
  • 9. Add the tomatoes, any juices they’ve released, the salt and 1/2 cup water
  • 10. Stir to combine everything and then cover. Reduce heat to simmer
  • 11. Cook until the okra is tender and the flavours are well blended, 5-10 minutes
  • 12. Take off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and add more salt to taste if you like.

This dish reheats beautifully.

Serves 4-6 people

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