• Spiced Okra


Rajasthani Bhindi Masala

By Shane Mitchell

I have never been a fan of okra. But this version, served at the height of the harvest season in Rajasthan by a talented Brahmin cook named GSN Bhargava, changed that. Fresh okra makes all the difference, especially when sautéed quickly, rather than stewed until glutinous, which is the way I grew up eating it. You can find mustard oil and spice blends like chaat masala online at Indian grocers.

Recipe from Far Afield by Shane Mitchell. Order your copy here.

Spiced Okra


  • 2 cups fresh okra, stems removed
  • 3/4 teaspoon olive or mustard oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 cup seeded and chopped tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
  • Coarse sea salt



Chop the okra into 1/2-inch pieces.

In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast until they begin to pop. Add the garlic and onion, stir to combine, and cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add the okra, turmeric, chile powder, and garam masala and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped tomato, cilantro, lemon juice, and chaat masala. Stir until blended. Season with salt to taste before serving.

About the Authors

Shane Mitchell is a Saveur contributing editor. Formerly, she was Travel + Leisure’s special correspondent. Her writing has also appeared in Australian Gourmet Traveller, Afar, Bon Appétit, Bitter Southerner, Departures, Serious Eats, and other publications. She is a James Beard Foundation Award finalist and has received the IACP Culinary Writing prize. She kayaks on the St. Lawrence River and collects handmade knives wherever she travels. When not on the road, she lives in New York’s North Country.

James Fisher an Australian portrait photographer and film director based in London. His editorial client list includes Vanity Fair, L’Uomo Vogue, Saveur, Travel+Leisure, Vogue Living, and Empire. Commercially his focus is on film and entertainment advertising, tourism, and travel photography, and his commercial clients include Tourism Australia, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros, Disney Pictures, and NBC Universal. James’s work with refugees in Europe forms part of his wide global portraiture project investigating the personal experiences of displaced and marginalized populations.

Reprinted from FAR AFIELD Copyright © 2016 by Shane Mitchell. Photographs copyright © 2016 by James Fisher. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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