Rustic Okra Soup
75 Min

Rustic Okra Soup

In the middle of our hot Texas summer when you may not ordinarily think of soup, one with cooling ingredients such as okra and yogurt might be the perfect antidote.

According to Ayurveda, okra balances the heat in our body and relieves dryness in our joints, not to mention that it is an excellent source of dietary fiber, folic acid and potassium. It is also one of the few vegetables that naturally contain glutathione, a potent essential antioxidant.

Roasting okra in the oven at high heat preserves its integrity and flavor without turning it slimy. This yogurt soup is an adaptation of the classic Punjabi kadhi, usually eaten with rice — the chickpea flour is the binder that keeps the yogurt from “breaking,” and turns it viscous and creamy.

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Cook Time

75 Minutes



Step 1
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the okra, if needed and dry. Trim and discard the larger end of the okra and slice the rest into diagonal pieces. If the okra is young and tender, it is entirely edible.
Step 2
Combine it with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and fennel and spread evenly on a greased or parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes then lower the temperature to 300°F and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the maturity and size of the okra.
Step 3
The best way to test is to pop a piece of okra in your mouth to see it if is cooked through. The ideal cooking time is when the okra has cooked through and is still bright green. If you are not particular about its color, leave the okra in the oven longer.
Step 4
To make the yogurt sauce, whisk together yogurt, chickpea flour, turmeric, chile powder, grated ginger, and salt. Add 1 cup of water and continue whisking until smooth.
1 pound fresh okra
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
10 to 12 curry leaves, minced
Pinch of asafetida
Fresh herbs for garnish such as mint or cilantro

Notes & Variations

  • When buying okra, try the snap test. If the tip snaps back, it’s fresh and tender. If the tip just bends over, it’s probably not.
  • Feel free to add vegetables such as potatoes or squash to the soup once it has come to a boil and is simmering.
  • Curry (or kari) leaves, with hints of pine and lemon, are native to India but easily available at most Indian grocers — substitute with lemongrass or kafir lime leaves.
75 Min

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