Photo by Tim Robison

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4 servings

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups diced red onion
  • Several generous pinches of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 ½ cups tomatoes*, roughly diced
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 pound okra, halved lengthwise
  • *The riper the better. Roma tomatoes work fine, or try small heirloom cherry or grape tomatoes, halved. They will break down in the oil but retain their shape and look beautifully rustic.
  1. Puree garlic and ginger in food processor to a smooth paste
  2. Heat oil in sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking
  3. Add onion and pinch of salt. Sauté until translucent over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. (The salt helps the onions sweat quicker.)
  4. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté until both paste and onions are golden brown, about 2–3 minutes.
  5. Add cumin, turmeric powder, and half the cilantro. Sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Add tomatoes. Cook over medium high until tomatoes start to break down, about 2–3 minutes.
  7. Add ½ cup water and okra. Cook until okra is tender and water starts to evaporate, about 3–5 minutes.
  8. Add salt to taste, garnish with remaining fresh cilantro, and serve over rice.
  • from Chefs Meherwan Irani of Chai Pani and Elliott Moss of Buxton Hall, Asheville, North Carolina

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