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Grilled Okra with Indian Salt and Mixed Spices

From Deborah Madison, chef, Seed Savers Exchange advisor, and author; recipe excerpted from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Star of David okra

A long, pointed pod with fine ridges extending the length of its body, okra has another name, lady fingers, which suggests the refinement of its shape.

Grilling okra is one of the best things that someone can do with okra. For ease of handling, skewer four or five pods onto two parallel skewers, like a ladder. Brush with vegetable oil and sprinkle with sea salt

Grill on both sides until lightly marked. Eat hot off the grill with a squeeze of lemon or a dash of Indian Salt with Mixed Spices (recipe below), add it to a sauté of corn and tomatoes, or use to garnish a plate of black-eyed peas and rice.

Indian Salt with Mixed Spices

In her classic World of the East, Madhur Jaffrey suggests this combination in what she calls a “dry dip.” It has a gutsy flavor and is indeed a good dip for vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne or freshly milled black pepper

Preparation

Toast the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant.

Let them cool briefly on a plate, then grind with the salt and cayenne to make a fine or coarse dipping salt.