Phantom of the Okra

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The Phantom of the Okra is here… inside your mind tummy…
Phantom of the Okra - and spicy okra side dish recipe inspired by the Phantom of the Opera

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So here’s a confession. The title of this post was in the first five that we came up with when brainstorming pun-filled musicals and songs. And it has taken us NEARLY A MONTH to get round to posting it. Shocking, I know.

Anyway. Phantom of the Opera is one of those musicals that EVERYONE has heard of. So it absolutely HAD to be featured on our site! This Andrew Lloyd Webber classic musical first opened on the West End in 1986, and Broadway in 1988. It is currently the longest running show on Broadway, and second longest running musical on the West End (the first being Les Misérables). A movie of the musical was released in 2004, starring Gerard Butler as the title role.

So Opera/Okra – it just had to happen. Many people stay away from okra because of the slimy texture – but in this recipe the okra are almost crispy! I’m a fan of this vegetable anyway, and I particularly like how it pairs well with Indian spices and flavors. If you try it, let me know what you think!

If you’re using fresh okra, slice then pat dry with kitchen paper to remove any excess moisture. If you’re using frozen okra (which is fine but won’t be quite as good), defrost it first then try and get it as dry as possible by draining it on kitchen paper.

In a pan, heat some vegetable oil then add garam masala, ground cumin, and ground turmeric. The spices will smell amazing as they start to sizzle! Add garlic and chopped onion, and cook on a low-medium heat until the onions have softened. You can also add some crushed red pepper flakes if you want a spicy version. And I usually do!

Add the okra and raise the temperature to medium-high. Cook until the okra are cooked to your liking and season with salt as required.

Serve garnished with extra chili flakes. Beware the Phantom of the Okra!!!Phantom of the Okra - and spicy okra side dish recipe inspired by the Phantom of the Opera

Yield: 4

Phantom of the Okra

Phantom of the Okra


  • 16 oz okra (fresh or frozen then thawed), sliced
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • salt


  1. Pat the okra dry with paper towels and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan and add the garam masala, cumin, and turmeric. Cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes (if using) and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes or until the onion has softened.
  4. Turn up the heat to medium-high, add the okra, and cook until desired texture is reached. Season with salt as required.
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