In my family, this smoky, crispy, North Indian–style okra is an iconic, clamored-after dish. The key is to cook the okra for a long time, with a lot of whole spices. It’s a foolproof and quick way to get the most flavor out of the summer vegetable, while avoiding any slimy texture. You end up with charred, fragrant morsels that are perfect as a side or as a main dish eaten with rice or roti. The key seasoning here is ajwain, which tastes like a more piquant oregano and is a classic pairing for okra’s mild, slightly grassy tones. If you don’t have access to fresh okra, particularly later in the year, try precut frozen okra—it often tastes just as great as the fresh stuff.
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