Magical coconut stuffed lady fingers

Scroll naar beneden voor Nederlands recept.

imageWhat a fantastic name for a vegetable right? Lady fingers sounds way more enticing to me than okra. Or does that make me a cannibal?? No meat involved in these exotic looking green goodies whatsover though. Okra remains a mystery to many Western palates. In my home country Surinam it is revered and turned into a super slimy soup, that has plenty of meat involved mind you! So what a lovely suprise to find market stalls on Rye Lane brimming with okra’s and many other West Indian delicacies that are less known in Holland, during my recent inspirational trip to London. In many ways it felt like coming home to me.

It is precisely its slimy character that has given okra a bad name. Many people hate eating slimy foods, when from a health perspective some slime or mucus is actually a good thing. It means that your joints and muscles are well lubricated and you are not stiff or suffer from cracking body parts. What that actually says is that you are young and juicy! Yeah baby! Which is why in Ayurveda these elegant green fingers are used to treat all sorts of joint pains such as artrithis or rheuma.

imageThey are also the best, I repeat, the best vegetable to eat to get rid of constipation. On the one hand because of the high fiber content. And secondly because they are so slimy! All digested foods in your intestinal tract bind themselves to the slimyness of okra making going to the bathroom a breeze, so to speak. If you are suffering from constipation I really recommend you to try eating okra every day for 2 weeks. I guarantee you will be rewarded greatly! No pun intended….

And lastly okras, or lady fingers, are stuffed to the brim with tiny seeds. And you probably already guessed what that means in the natural world….. Okra is a great afrodisiacum and is said to hugely increase both libido as well as fertility. So if you do try it for two weeks make sure you have a partner handy!

imageLady fingers are tri-doshic veggies, which means they are good for all three types. This way of dry frying them whole makes them way less slimy in texture and the crunchy and super fragrant filling of coconut, cashews, sesame seeds and spices is a real unexpected surprise. Although filling the okras is a tiny bit fiddly I urge you to make enough. They are so special and delicious that your guests will be eating them by the dozens!

Coconut stuffed lady fingers

Based on a recipe by Anjum Anand. Enough for 4


  • 1 tablespoon sesame seed
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 red chilli finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 6 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coursely chopped cashew nuts
  • handful coriander leaves and stalks roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coconut blossom sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon himalaya salt

Lady fingers

  • 250 grams lady fingers
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon himalaya salt

For the filling simply mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

I leave the lady fingers completely in tact also leaving the stems on, because the more you cut into them to slimier they will become. Just tell your guests not the eat the stems once dinner is served. With a sharp knife make a slit in the center of each lady finger. Make sure you don’t cut all the way down to the bottom of the okra so the vegetable becomes like a pouch to hold the filling. Carefully open the slit up with your fingers and gently fill each lady finger with a bit of  filling.

Now heat a frying pan on high heat. Add the ghee and when hot put the lady fingers with the filled sides downwards in the pan. Lower the heat a bit and fry about one minute on this side. With kitchen tongs (or your heat proof fingers if you are like me!) turn the vegetables around and fry another minute on this side before adding just a sprinkle of water and closing the pan with a fitting lid. The lady fingers will cook in the steam released by the water in the hot pan. Steam for about 2 to 3 minutes. If necessary lower the heat further to prevent burning. Remove the lid and salt the okra’s with himalaya salt to taste.

Serve with steamed rice or a rich spice laden sweet potato puree.

Nederlands recept

Met kokos gevulde okers

Voor 4 personen


  • 1 eetlepel sesamzaad
  •  1 eetlepel geraspte verse gember
  • 2 theelepels korianderpoeder
  • 1 theelepel komijnpoeder
  • 1/4 fijngehakte rode chilipeper
  • 3/4 theelepel garam masala
  • 6 eetlepels geraspte kokos
  • 2 eetlepels grofgehakte cashewnoten
  • handvol grofgehakte koriander (stelen en blaadjes)
  • 2 theelepels kokosbloesemsuiker
  • 1 eetlepel citroen- of limoensap
  • 1 eetlepel ghee
  • 1/4 theelepel himalayazout  


  • 250 gram okers
  • 1 eetlepel ghee
  • himalayazout naar smaak

Mix voor de vulling alle ingredienten in een kom. Hou even apart terwijl je de okers voorbereidt.

Ik hou de okers heel, dus ook met het steeltje er nog aan. Hoe meer je in de oker gaat snijden hoe slijmeriger het wordt namelijk. Laat je tafelgasten eenmaal aan tafel wel weten dat ze het steeltje niet kunnen eten. Snij dan de okers 1 voor 1 aan een kant in. Snij niet tot de bodem in omdat je niet wilt dat je vulling eruit valt. Duw de okers met je vingers voorzichtig iets verder open en vul ze.

Verwarm nu een koekenpan op hoog vuur. Doe er de ghee in en leg de okers met de gevulde kant naar beneden in de pan. Bak ongeveer 1 minuutje tot de vulling mooi goudbruin is geworden. Draai ze voorzichtig met een tang (of je vingers, als je net als mij vuurvaste vingers hebt!) om. Bak nog 1 minuut aan deze kant. Draai het vuur wat lager en schenk een scheutje water in de pan. Doe snel een deksel op de pan. De okers zullen nu verder gaar koken in de stoom die in de pan is ontstaan. Laat een minuut of 3 tot 5 stomen tot de okers beetgaar zijn. Breng dan op smaak met zout.

Serveer met rijst of romige zoete aardappelpuree.





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