Sunday, April 23, 2006

Spicy oven-baked okra

I have to start off saying that I'm going to be somewhat sporadic with my posts for the next month or so. There's simply too much to do and not enough time to do it in... plus I havent been doing much cooking (see first part of this sentence + amma's doing the cooking).

Next Saturday we leave for the USA (NY-DC-Seattle and whatever else my sis & bro have got planned for us) and we're going to be there for 2 weeks and a bit. I'm hoping to be able to shoot off a few food or travel-based posts in that time, but obviously there arent any guarantees. But do keep coming by just to check things out from time to time - and I'll surely be keeping an eye on all my favourite blogs too!

It would be even nicer to meet up with any bloggers who are in the area - drop me a line on if so, and we can take it from there.

That said, on to the okra that I made today, more or less following a recipe from Neelam Batra's 1000 Indian Recipes.

She said okra is very nice when baked in the oven... that was a new one on me, so of course I had to try it. I have to say the end result wasnt bad at all - they were spicy, tangy and slightly crisp and nicely browned... excellent results for a healthy recipe using only a little oil! They also didnt end up gooey - a very important point because I'm not partial (nor do I know anybody who is) to anything that has the texture of nasal debris arising from a bad cold. (Sorry if I grossed anybody out, but if it's any consolation, I'm grossed out myself just at the thought!)

Ms Batra also says that oven-baked okra freezes very well, but since what I made didnt last beyond one meal (amma, me and Pete demolished it!) the freezing part of this trial will have to be reserved for another time.

Recipe for:
Spicy oven-baked okra

Clockwise (from top right): Ginger-garlic paste, chaat masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, lemon slices. (centre) Red chilli powder.


4 cups fresh okra, cut into 2-inch pieces (I removed the heads)
1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tsp chaat masala (readymade is fine)
2 tsp oil (I used olive oil)
Juice of one large lemon (3-4 tbsp)
1 tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour)
1 tbsp rice flour
Salt to taste


1. Combine everything but the okra in a large bowl, whisking to blend well.

2. Add the okra to the bowl and mix carefully with your hands or a large flat spoon to coat the pieces with the masala.

3. Lay out the okra in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet or on non-stick silicone paper.

4. Broil it in the oven for 5 minutes or until the tops acquire brown spots.

5. Now turn on the oven to 220C and bake the okra on the lowest rack for 6-8 minutes or till the bottoms are browned nicely.

6. Serve hot as a side dish with rice or roti, or as a snack. I served mine with tangy lemon rice.


Luv2cook said...


That looks good. I bookmarked your page and filed it under recipes to try :).

And yes if you are wondering, your paragraph describing the stickyness of the Okra DID gross me out. YUCK! :)

Vaishali said...

Next time when you have enough of this dish (or any other dish for that matter) to freeze, DON'T. Send it over to me. :)
Baking okra is totally new to me. Heard it for the first time in my life. Never had okra with ginger and garlic either. Do they marry well, these three? You say that the result wasn't 'bad'. Was it good then? Let me know and I'll try it out.

shammi said...

Luv2cook: yup, it's a pretty good recipe. Not, of course, as good as shallow-frying or deep frying the okra, but very tasty all the same.

Vaishali: Hey, havent you really tried okra with ginger-garlic? It works beautifully! I know I said "not bad" - which DOES mean "good" :)

Vaishali said...

Thanks, Shammi. I hope to try it out soon. You will get the verdict through my Blog Patrol.

lindy said...

Shammi-I love okra. Apart from its use in gumbo and the evil deepfried breaded okra of the american south (so good, so incredibly unhealthy a treatment for a healthy veg)-all of the really good okra recipes I've had have had an Indian origin.

There seems to be some deep affinity with okra and so many spices used in various sorts of Indian cooking.
So far, my favorite recipe is a pan cooked one from Suvir Saran's Indian Home Cooking.
This one looks and sounds gorgeous,too.
By the way, I am addicted to your egg puffs.
Have a good trip. If you will be near Pittsburgh-get in touch. I'd love to meet you.

Saffron said...

looks good Shammi. I've never tried chaat masala with okra and I think the combo must taste great!

Hey if you are planning to be in Chicago, drop me a line. We can get together!!


BDSN said...

hey...that nasal debris thing dint gross me out..but felt it was funny and a clever way of putting it..gr8!!!

ur okra looks marvellous..will definitely giv a try..i just love okra..

Garam Masala said...

shammi - That looks sooo good! I've never really heard of baked/roasted okra before!

Lakshmi said...

wow, this looks great, will definately going to give it a try Shammi.

Mindy T. said...

Mmmm. I'm always looking for new okra inspiration and will definitely try this. These scrumptious pods are generally underappreciated in the U.S., except in the southern states. Thanks and happy blogging...

Priya Bhaskaran said...

Hi Shammi, I Just tried baking bitter gourd for this afternoon. I was thinking whether I could bake the okra. I was afraid of the okra turning into mushy ones. Good that you came up with the recipe. will give a try this week:)

Sasi said...

Hi Shyamala..
You have a great blog here.. I tried this okra recipe y'day and it was awesome.. I tried putting it in the oven but it was taking too long, so I transferred it to a microwave oven and it was ready in 10 minutes.. tasted awesome..
Do you think it would have been better in the oven?


Anonymous said...

Oh but besides Indian, there are great Arabic and African recipies. Not to mention Carib. . Coming from the Southern US I grew up eating okra, and was actually surprised as I begin to travel teh world that Okra was everywhere. It was a great thing.
And yes baked okra does seem much healthier then deepfried (but oh so good with a great chili sauce). I am goinghome to try it right now!

Leni said...

What is ginger-garlic paste? A mixture of fresh minced ginger and fresh garlic? Or is it dried?

Shyam said...

Leni: Yep, ginger-garlic paste is usually fresh ginger and fresh garlic ground to a paste. You could also mince them finely if you prefer more of a "bite".