Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Vegetarian Gumbo ~ India Inspired

When we lived in Houston, one of the recipes we picked up from that region was gumbo. Okra, vegetables, beans, rice and seafood/meat, together cooked in wheat flour broth (called roux). That is gumbo in a nutshell. Vijay is a big fan of seafood gumbo and often prepares shrimp gumbo at home. Being the non-meat eater that I am, I had to develop a vegetarian version for myself. The following recipe is the result of my trials.

I’ve made few changes to the traditional recipe to suit my taste. I replaced roux with lots of okra and coconut-spice seasoning. And for today’s meal, fresh chickpea sprouts and brown basmati have joined the excellent cast of gumbo characters.

Swampland approach, but a new appeal with Southern India seasoning, my vegetarian gumbo is a delightful one-pot dish. The side effects I have noticed so far, it’d inflict a dramatic mood change. Kindlier attitude towards fellow beings, even towards themselves, which at times could be of even greater importance, may happen.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Gumbo
Red Onion, Orange Capsicum, Tomato, Sprouted Chickpeas, Brown Basmati and Okra


1 tablespoon ghee
2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
1 red onion, 2 capsicums and 4 tomatoes – finely chopped
20 okra – cut to half-inch rings
1 cup sprouted chickpeas (or beans of your choice)
½ cup brown basmati rice
Turmeric and salt – half teaspoon each or to taste

Southern India Seasoning :
Two tablespoons of grated fresh coconut, 6 dried red chillies, 6 cloves, quarter teaspoon cumin, fistful of fresh cilantro leaves, and a pinch of salt – blend to smooth, adding half cup of water in a mixer.

In a heavy pot, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until translucent. Add the capsicum, tomatoes, okra, chickpea sprouts and brown basmati rice. Mix and cook, occasionally stirring for about ten minutes. Add about three cups of water and also stir in the turmeric and salt. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for about another 15 minutes.

When the rice starts to get tender, stir in the coconut-spice seasoning. Mix gently and simmer another ten minutes or so. When the rice is cooked to tender, turn off the heat. Cover and let the gumbo sit for sometime. The whole thing will thicken further on cooling.

Vegetarian gumbo goes well with papadams. They are great to scoop up the gumbo.

Vegetarian Gumbo
Vegetarian Gumbo with Okra, Chickpea Sprouts and Brown Basmati, Served with Papadams ~ Our Meal

Kitchen notes:
Grated fresh coconut, Brown basmati rice and papadams of different shapes can be purchased at Indian grocery shops. (Before serving, papadams should be fried in oil until crisp.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Bell Pepper,Benda Kaaya(Okra),Brown Basmati,Sprouts (Molakalu) (Tuesday July 31, 2007 at 12:11 am- permalink)
Comments (18)

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18 comments for Vegetarian Gumbo ~ India Inspired »

  1. One of my friend’s pet name is Gumbo 🙂 so it has to be really nice!New recipe for me and I already like it1 thanks

    Comment by madhuli — July 31, 2007 @ 2:12 am

  2. I’d read about dirty gumbo somewhere in my childhood but never bothered to look it up. As you say, its a great one dish meal. And I have yet another recipe for Okra now 🙂 Thanks

    Comment by Raaga — July 31, 2007 @ 3:07 am

  3. Thanks for the great recipe.

    The vegetarian gumbo looks divine.
    I always assumed Gumbo was made with beef or chicken broth…

    I will use oil instead of ghee, in your vegetarian gumbo recipe, and I have a vegan gumbo!

    Comment by Kumudha — July 31, 2007 @ 5:59 am

  4. Fantastic Gumbo!

    Comment by Poonam — July 31, 2007 @ 6:53 am

  5. Love ur version of gumbo. I am going to make this soon. Thanks for the recipe!:-)

    Comment by TBC — July 31, 2007 @ 8:28 am

  6. Great Indian twist on Gumbo. Never tried this combination of veggies, will definitely try it soon. Thanks for the recipe.

    Comment by Pavani — July 31, 2007 @ 9:02 am

  7. Brilliant idea, Indira. And the after effects, all the more reason to try this 🙂

    Comment by Suganya — July 31, 2007 @ 10:17 am

  8. What a hearty gumbo! Love it Indira!

    Comment by Roopa (KitchenAromas) — July 31, 2007 @ 10:51 am

  9. That’s a nice twist and sounds more flavorful with the coconut spice seasoning. A one pot meal indeed.

    Comment by Laavanya — July 31, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  10. New recipe for me , Indira

    Comment by Deepika Saripalli — July 31, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

  11. wow thats wonderfull full meal. an awesome one for lunch box.loved it.

    Comment by roopa — July 31, 2007 @ 8:55 pm

  12. Indira, when i saw your chick pea sprouts I was imagining a Chole masala for today (started drooling as if I stay next to your home ;)) but this came as a pleasant surprise. I always love one pot meals but this looks totally nouritious and delicious too. Hats off for your innovations and many thanks for sharing them!

    Comment by Nirmala — July 31, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

  13. mmmm…..woderful dish for kid`s lunch box.

    Comment by Rahila — July 31, 2007 @ 11:35 pm

  14. I tried the curry version of this recipe without rice. I added a carrot and doubled the quantity. I served with chapathi and rice. Everyone liked it. Thanks for sharing all wonderful recipes.

    Comment by Sabitha — August 1, 2007 @ 10:43 am

  15. Happy to read your nice comments on this recipe. Thank you.

    Nirmala: And I would be at your home always, enjoying the mouthwatering cakes and cookiies you bake.:)

    Hi Sabitha: Even without rice, this vegetarian gumbo tastes great. Isn’t it? Glad to hear that you tried and liked this recipe. Thanks for letting me know.

    Comment by Indira — August 1, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

  16. Indira, I made this gumbo and loved it so much that I made it again the same week. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Comment by Sandhya — April 23, 2008 @ 12:26 am

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