Cheetie Kumar, the chef behind Raleigh, NC restaurant Garland, combines Indian and Southern ingredients with ingenuity and ease. This dish is inspired by one that her late mother, Adarsh liked to prepare. "Mom would cut slits length-wise in okra, stuff each pod with a lemony masala paste, then pan-roast them, finishing the dish with sweet onions. She was a patient woman," Kumar says. "My lazier version relies on whole okra roasted and tossed with onions and spices while scalding hot. It's not as special as hers, but it's delicious and much easier."

Cheetie Kumar


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Recipe Summary test

30 mins
1 hr 30 mins
Serves 4 to 6


Roasted Okra


Instructions Checklist
  • Prepare the Masala: Heat cumin seeds in a small skillet over low, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Repeat procedure with coriander seeds, fennel seeds, and ajowan seeds, toasting each spice separately and adding to cumin seeds. Let spices cool 10 minutes. In 2 batches, process cumin mixture and, if desired, mint in a spice grinder until finely ground, about 15 seconds per batch. Transfer to an airtight container; stir in amchoor powder, black salt, and cayenne; set aside.

  • Prepare the Roasted Okra: Place 1 oven rack 6 inches from heat; place second rack in lower third of oven. Place a large rimmed baking sheet on each rack. Preheat broiler to high. (Do not remove baking sheets while oven preheats.)

  • Stir together grapeseed oil and turmeric in a large bowl. Add okra and onions, tossing to coat. Remove pan from top rack of oven. Spread half of the okra mixture (about 8 cups) in a single layer in hot pan, and return to top oven rack. Broil on high until okra is tender and charred in spots, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Spread remaining okra mixture in a single layer on second hot sheet pan, broiling on top rack as directed.

  • Gently toss cooked okra mixture with lemon juice, salt, and 4 teaspoons of the Masala. Transfer to a large serving platter.