Crispy Okra Salad

Updated February 23, 2016


American Masala

Published by Clarkson Potter

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This isn't a traditional recipe, but something Panditji, my family’s Brahman chef, and I came up with when I was ten years old. Originally we slit the okra in half lengthwise and marinated them with chickpea flour, lemon juice, and spices. Since coming to the United States, I have streamlined the recipe and now I find it more addictive than ever. Many of my friends proclaim it to be the ideal substitute for French fries. Although I think of this as a salad, others call it a side dish. You decide.


Cooking Methodfrying



Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Taste and Texturecrisp, herby, spiced

Type of Dishfirst course salad, salad, warm salad


  • Canola oil
  • 1 pound okra, stemmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium or 2 small tomatoes, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons chaat masala


Heat 2 inches of oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to 350°F. Add a third of the okra and fry until browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining okra, making sure the oil temperature comes back to 350°F before frying additional batches.

In a large bowl, toss the okra with the onion, tomato, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and chaat masala. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.



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