So you think okra is a slimy gooey vegetable. Try this recipe and you will change your impression about Okras. They are crunchy, spicy and tangy ....slivers of okra dipped in a very light powdery batter and fried.
Called Ladies Fingers in India, its popular in summer when the tropical heat really brings out the flavors and the markets abound in it. Here too, Okra is more popular in the South, where the heat produces better quality okras. I grew Okras in my garden till last year and any cold spell or heavy rain in the summer used to wreck havoc on the plant. This year, no veggie garden....I have been good at container planting but with so many success stories on the blogs, I should try it.
Now aplenty in my local Indian grocery, there was a funny sign next to it."$1.30/lb but $1.99/lb if ends are broken". Breaking the tips is the old fashioned way to determine freshness, but now I don't think that's necessary. One look at the color and you would know. I guess, the shopkeepers were tired of the zealous shoppers leaving behind a trail of broken okras!
Came across this recipe from my friend when she mentioned eating it like this a banquet and just tried it out. Goes great as an appetizer too if you don't need a side dish.
On another note, have you been watching the Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? The premise that interests me most in that show is the confidence that Jamie has that "anyone' can cook a decent meal instead of resorting to a frozen or packaged meal. In processed America, that is certainly a revolution as well as a revelation!!
According to him, "If you know how to cook - pass on your skills and keep them alive for future generations. If your kids and their families don't learn, their only option will be a diet of processed and fast food. If you don't know how to cook - start now, it could change your life and improve your health prospects!"
It struck a chord coz isn't that what at least some of us started the blogs with? Documenting our traditional recipes to spread it to those who are far away from home in case they felt like making it?
He is out to get everybody to eat more fruits and veggies, less processed, less sugary and less frozen meals. Anything from fresh produce, anything cooked from scratch is better. That's a thumbs up for all bloggers.
For the others, Learn to make an omlette at the least for those busy weeknights, Jamie says!! You would think anyone knows how to make an omlette, right? But apparently not!!
Most Cooking is not hard though I know a lot of people will disagree with me. Support the food revolution even you think you eat healthy. (Psst..Do you eat healthy enough?) The intentions are good and the message simple.
You Will Need:
Rice Flour-1 tbsp
Dried Mango powder (Substitute with 2 tsp lemon juice)-3/4 tsp approx.
Grounded Roasted Cumin -1/2 tsp.
Red Chili Powder-1 tsp (use less if you like)
Salt to taste.
Oil for frying-1/2 cup, more or less.
1. Wash the okra well and dry each one with a paper towel or kitchen towel. Cut them into long thin strips. Mix all the powders and taste it. This is your only chance to taste the seasoning and adjust spice and salt level. Add the okra strands and toss well with a gentle hand to get the coating on each strand. Add a tsp of water if its not sticking at all. If you add too much water, it will become a pakoda/fritters batter. You could substitute the spices with a ready chaat masala spice powder if you like it tangier.
2. Heat the oil (not to smoking point) in a non-stick pan/kadai/wok and fry a handful of the strands of okra on medium heat without over crowding them in the pan. If there are too many, they don't crisp up well. If you try to fry them in less oil, they drink more oil and you will have to keep pouring more for each batch.They are done in less than a minute for each batch, when they turn light brown in color. Drain onto paper towels. Serve hot or warm. To crisp them up later, just warm in a very low setting in a preheated toaster oven for 5 minutes or so.
Check out this crispy okra salad recipe.
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