Roasted Okra Masala

by on July 31, 2013
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Tender, young okra are roasted and then combined with a spicy Indian masala for an excellent vegan side dish.

Roasted Okra Masala
Next to vine-ripened tomatoes, the vegetable I look most forward to in the summer is okra, small, tender okra pods that are impossible to get during the winter. Frozen okra is fine for gumbos and stews, but only fresh okra will do for my favorite way to prepare it, roasted. It’s as simple as putting it in a hot oven and letting it cook, but the flavor and texture belies the easiness of the preparation. Even people who don’t usually like okra will eat it like French fries when it’s roasted and seasoned.

Roasted Okra Masala

So the other day, I was fixing Dal Tadka for dinner and needed a side dish. I’d just bought some okra that I’d planned on roasting, and I briefly considered using it to make my old Bhindi Masala recipe. But these okra were young and tender, perfect for roasting, and I couldn’t bring myself to cut them up. So I sort of combined the recipes. I roasted the okra while I prepared the masala, or onion-spice mixture, and then added the okra once it was done. The results were sublime: the smokiness of roasted okra with the flavor of onion, ginger, cumin, and pepper.

Roasted Okra Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fun fact: Baking soda will speed up the cooking of the onion, but it reacts with turmeric, causing the turmeric to turn red instead of yellow.
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound small, tender okra
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch baking soda, optional
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (the recipe I use is here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon or kosher salt, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Trim the stems of the okra if they’re longer than a quarter inch. Place okra on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Okra should be beginning to brown in places but not burned.
  2. When the okra is almost finished cooking, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and a pinch of baking soda, if you want to speed up the cooking. Cook until onion begins to soften and then add the ginger root, garlic, and cumin and cook for another minute. Add turmeric and garam masala and cook for another minute, adding a tablespoon of water if the spices start to stick. Add the roasted okra and salt, if you use it, stir well, and cook for another minute or two.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe Calories: 53 Fat: less than 1g Carbohydrates: 11.9g Sugar: 2.7g Sodium: 520.6mg Fiber: 4.4g Protein: 2.8g


More Okra Recipes



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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Emma July 31, 2013 at 9:00 am

Love okra but don’t cook it nearly enough. Thanks for the tip about the onion- that one’s new to me!


2 Art Scott July 31, 2013 at 9:27 am

This looks scrumptious! I can’t wait to try it. Thank you! ~Scott


3 John Ullman July 31, 2013 at 9:53 am

My favorite recipe is Okra Etouffee, page 99, in the cookbook I produced for my boss, “Cookin’ with Queen Ida”. ( It tastes best when you play the eponymous CD while you cook.


4 Lisa July 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

Hi Susan, I made your kale salad recipe and loved it and now subscribe to your blog. My question about the okra is: When roasted like this does it reduce the slime factor? I only put this stuff in gumbo because I really dislike the texture, even fried it is sometimes slimey. Thanks so much. Lisa


5 Susan Voisin July 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm

The great thing about roasting is that it completely gets rid of the slime. I hope you’ll give it a try!


6 Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today July 31, 2013 at 10:29 am

Okra is new for me. I mean I’ve never had it or at least I don’t remember. Thank you for sharing. I like to try new things.


7 Tami@Nutmeg Notebook July 31, 2013 at 10:32 am

I have to admit that I have never cooked okra. Yours looks delicious and I just might have to give it a try.


8 moonwatcher July 31, 2013 at 10:53 am

HI Susan,

This looks wonderful! If I ever get lucky enough to find fresh okra up here in northern Idaho, I’m trying it!!

Absolutely beautiful photos too. Such texture and color!




9 Anne July 31, 2013 at 10:59 am

Looks great and I am excited about a new way to try okra! Wondering if it’s my mobile version, but don’t see the link to garam masala. Thanks!


10 Marcia July 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Good morning Susan,

My Mother used to cook okra (being the Southern Belle she was) for us but it was always slimy and I hated it. I have not had it since because I cannot get that taste and texture out of my mind.

I have copied your recipe and put it in my file and at some point I will try it, but I’m in no hurry! The picture is pretty and I’m sure the dish would be much better than Mom’s way so there is hope! Thanks.


11 Kalyn July 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Do you believe I have never had fresh okra! This looks delicious.


12 Going Veggie July 31, 2013 at 2:51 pm

LOVE this! Found you on Flipboard and added this recipe. As soon as all this rain in Georgia stops, we’ll be overrun with okra, so… bring on the recipes!


13 Amy at August 1, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I haven’t had much experience with okra, but I’m so excited to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing!


14 Ann August 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm

This looks great and I do love okra. Thanks


15 Lara August 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm

Really like this a lot. Although Okra is not my favorite, I do love it now and then but struggle with how to cook. Will try this for sure. Thanks. Great post.


16 August 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Mmmmmm! Roasted okra! That’s a great idea! That’s an ingredient I would love to use on the new grill!


17 Sharon Herbitter August 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I think you meant to include a link to your garam masala recipe, but I’m not seeing it…


18 Susan Voisin August 5, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Sorry about that! The garam masala recipe is included in this one:


19 S August 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Okra is one of my favorite vegetables to roast. I love sprinkling it with some hot curry powder


20 Andy W August 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Agree. Love okra with curry for sure. I almost think it’s a fairly underrated vegetable. Great recipe. Will try this one.


21 Alison Bowling August 7, 2013 at 3:25 am

I have seen these strange looking veg in the supermarket and have never bought any because I was told they are slimy when cooked. Maybe I will try them your way and then make a judgement call.


22 Brittany @WeHeartVegan August 7, 2013 at 2:01 pm

I have never tried okra before, but this recipe is giving me incentive to give it a go! Is there any specific right and wrong to purchasing okra?


23 Susan Voisin August 7, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Just get the smallest okra you can find, make sure it doesn’t feel “woody,” and check to see that when you bend the tip, it snaps off rather than just bends.


24 Veronica August 10, 2013 at 11:35 am

Very nice blog/site. I have only looked over briefly, and will look forward to spending more time in the future.
Good job! Thank you!


25 Jeff @ Cheeseburger August 12, 2013 at 4:57 am

I’ve never cooked okra before but that photo has made me want to try it. It turned out great! Very delicious!


26 Sally August 12, 2013 at 7:10 pm

OMG The roasted okra is to die for. I actually went and paid money for okra to make more. I have not fancied it up yet with the onions – but we have tried several spices on the okra itself. Y’all HAVE to do this! 🙂 sally


27 bikehikenc September 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I LOVE the roasted okra and this will be a nice twist! I have tons in the garden now and thanks to your great site I started roasting it last year and now it is our fav way to eat it! We call them okra fries!


28 Sally September 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm

This is my second comment on the roasted okra – just to say that I have been eating this a couple of times a week for a while now and it is making summer o so much better. I live in Central Texas where we still have HOT and okra flourishes here. Thanks Susan. I even had to buy more curry powder and now have a shaker for my curry powder 🙂

And – okra is pretty filling too. And I completely agree about getting rid of the slime – it is GONE.


29 Vanessa August 27, 2014 at 6:30 pm

I made these okra tonight and they were absolutely wonderful. Great and easy recipe!


30 Kim Winson August 23, 2015 at 7:57 am

This is terrific! Made it into a meal by adding rice and navy beans, with additional salt, cumin, and garam masala.


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