Masala okra & morning glory

Masala okra & morning glory

4 as part of a shared meal
Chris Middleton

These greens are commonly eaten in our house. My wife grew up eating them in Malaysia and we love to have them just sautéed with garlic, ginger, turmeric and chilli. However, this simple masala sauce is quick to make and absolutely delicious.


Quantity Ingredient
100ml olive oil
500g okra, stalks removed, pods sliced diagonally 1 cm thick
250g morning glory, tough stalks removed, leaves chopped into 5 cm lengths, washed well and dried, (see Note)

Masala paste

Quantity Ingredient
100ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 red asian shallots, finely chopped
2cm knob fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 lemongrass stem, finely chopped, white part only
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
200ml tomato passata
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. For the masala paste

    Heat the olive oil in a wide-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallot, ginger and lemongrass and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the dry spices and cook for a further 3–4 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato passata and sugar and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Add the lemon juice and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to cool.
  3. The masala can be made up to a week ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container until required.
  4. To serve

    Heat the oil over high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  5. Add the okra and cook for 2 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Add the morning glory and sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the masala sauce and cook until it is heated through, and the greens are just cooked. Transfer to a bowl and serve.


  • Morning glory, also known as water spinach or kang kong, is a leafy, stalky green vegetable widely used in Asia, often stir-fried with garlic and chilli. It is high in calcium — great for those unable to consume dairy.
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