Today, the mood is for fried food, yippie. I’m a foodie with a fetish for fried food! Went veggie shopping to Chinatown, and came upon some really fresh okra. My mom makes this dish very often in her kitchen in Mumbai, though she does not add any flour or binding element to the okra, just fries very thin slices of okra in hot oil. In this recipe I have added chickpea flour or gram flour(besan), a pulse flour made from ground chickpeas or garbanzo beans. A dash of buttermilk, so the flour sticks well to the okra slices. And a touch of rice flour, for added crispness. Tastes great just as a snack or appetizer or eaten alongside lentils(daal), rice or Indian flatbread(roti).
Fresh Okra – 1/2 lb.(approx. 250 grams)
Gram flour or chickpea flour – 3 tbsp.
Rice flour- 1 tbsp.
Buttermilk- 2 tbsp.
Dried mango powder(amchoor)- 1/2 tsp.
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp.
Roasted cumin powder-1/2 tsp.
Garam masala powder-1/2 tsp.
Salt, to taste
Rock salt or sea salt( I use Himalayan pink salt)
Canola or vegetable oil, for deep frying
Wash okra and dry thoroughly. I wipe them with a towel or dish cloth. Cut the ends off. Slice into approx. 1/4 inch slices, not too fine. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine chickpea flour(sieve the flour to remove any lumps), rice flour and all the spices, including a little salt. Mix well.
Add the buttermilk to the okra slices and mix well. Add the chickpea and spices mixture and mix well to coat all the okra pieces.
Heat oil to deep fry the okra, in a wok or deep fryer.The oil should be hot, before adding the okra, so they turn out crispy after frying(to test if the oil is hot enough, add a little piece of okra, and if it immediately rises to the surface of the oil, the oil is hot enough). Add the okra in small batches, fry till they start turning a golden brown. Warning- when you add the okra in the hot oil, oil may splatter, so be careful! Remove and drain on a paper-towel lined platter. Sprinkle some sea salt or rock salt and the ever-versatile Chaat masala, if you have it(a tangy spice mixture found in any Indian store).