The Okra Pod Cast

Hosted by Chris Smith and Rebekka White

This is a podcast dedicated to okra, not just the pod, but the whole plant and the people it connects. It’s amazing where okra will take you, so join us as we explore okra in all its diversity, both in the garden and the kitchen, and maybe even on Mars!

Episode 5: India’s Bhindi, A Romp Through Okraland

India’s Bhindi, A Romp Through Okraland: We speak with long time food writer, Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, who gives us a mouthwatering overview of okra across India. Rushina’s interview is a fantastic glimpse into the diversity on offer. After Rushina we speak with two chefs in India who both bring a creative, experimental eye to a traditional food. Executive chef, Vidit Aren, shares his personal journey with okra and some okra research and development at the Mumbai restaurant, Slink and Bardot. And then Rachel Goenka, award winning restauranteur, chef and author, shares her solution to having too much okra!

Episode 4: Okra’s Family

Okra’s Family: This episode is centered around okra. That may sound a little crazy given this is a podcast all about okra, but we really wanted an opportunity to get to know okra on okra’s own terms. We hear from Jordan Collins, who shares some botanical origins and agronomic potential of okra. We’re honored that Roy Blount Jr. shares his Song to Okra and some slippery stories. And two talented ‘Botanists in the Kitchen’ share botanical and culinary insights which may leave you hungering for a plate of fried okra and mole! We hope this episode leaves you knowing okra just a little bit better! 

Episode 3: Okra Soul Soup

Okra Soul Soup: In previous episodes we’ve certainly talked a lot about eating okra, but this is our first deep dive into a specific dish: Okra Soup. We are very fortunate to have  interviewed two incredible Charleston natives, Chef BJ Dennis and Chef Amethyst Ganaway, who help weave a narrative of food and people and deep roots stretching back to West Africa. Okra soup is certainly delicious, and be prepared to salivate during the whole episode, but it’s also a connection to community and culture beyond it’s varied ingredients.

Episode 2: Grandmother Okra

Grand Mother Okra: In our previous episode, titled  Motherland okra, we explored okra’s West African origins with our guests Michael Twitty and Jon Jackson. In this episode we accompany okra on its journey northward to hear how okra is used and celebrated by our friends and neighbors of Middle Eastern descent. We are happy to welcome three wonderful guests, who tell us about their experiences with okra, its uses, and who share with us the stories that connect okra to the people and the culture they love and carry within them.

Episode 1: Motherland Okra

Motherland Okra interviews Michael Twitty, culinary historian and author, as we dig deep into okra’s origins on the African continent, and its subsequent ‘globetrotting’ journey. We learn of the culinary skills and knowledge of people along West coast Africa, where okra is ubiquitous, and recognize slavery’s role in the dispersal of food crops as well as those people. Okra is certainly a food, deserving of celebration, but as you’ll come to see, it’s also so much more!