May 03, 2010

Okra Crispies/Crispy Fried Okra

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:
Okra-1 pound
Rice Flour-1 tbsp
Dried Mango powder (Substitute with 2 tsp lemon juice)-3/4 tsp approx.
Grounded Roasted Cumin -1/2 tsp.
Turmeric-1/4 tsp
Red Chili Powder-1 tsp (use less if you like)
Salt to taste.
Oil for frying-1/2 cup, more or less.

Preparation:

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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14 comments:

Happy Cook said...

I coudn't see the pic, i am not a fan of okre but fried i love them.
I like jamie from the time when he was a young chef and cooking in BBC shows. Have not seen what he is doing in US.

? said...

One finds it funny that such basic facts become hip and healthy when it comes from wesntern chefs.... just ask people who live and cook fresh in the other half of the world or immigrants who carry this characteristic along with them!
Good post.

Catherine said...

This looks really good! I've never tried okre, but your post has interested me.
Happy Monday!

indosungod said...

Shaheen, kudos to you for making those okras so crispy. Those okras with broken ends gets my goat too. Just touching the end to see if they are soft does the trick.

DD can make an omelet by herself. I asked to flip it once and now if it is omelet she wants to make it herself. She is 11, if she can do it anybody can do it.

Shabs.. said...

Yeah, as u said, i hate it when okras get slimy...So i hardly use them in my dishes:)....I have seen a similar version of crunchy okras once prepared by Anjum Anand....looks yum....Loved the write up too:)

Ividey ippo food network kittaathathu kondu its ages since i saw much cookery shows!So lot of time in hands...cant believe how much of my precious time was eaten by those cookery channels...

Pinney I tried ur way of malabAr chicken curry today, Came out real good. I added more garam masala powder at the end to get ur colour;)..I also prepare the same way, but proportions are quite different....So itried ur proportions today and for my surprise, it tasted quite different than mine. Wonder how a dish with same ingredeints and littl bit of change in proportions tastes sooo different!!!

sra said...

I sometimes buy the fried okra when I feel like eating something crisp. It's quite popular commercially too!

Mona said...

All those flavors - little spice and some tang along with crisp okra looks and sounds yummy. Will definitely try Shaheen. Thanks for sharing!

Nags said...

simple flavours!

Rachel said...

Oh yes you made me a convert!

Anita said...

Hmmm. Interesting..I think I might try a microwaved version!

An Open Book said...

i think this is my fav okra recipe..did try it out almost the same way once..
abt river cobbler..well it was my 1st experience with the same, but now i have been reading a lot of negative reviews about the fish..which lucky for us wasnt that much of a prob...

Jayashree said...

I hate seeing okras with broken ends. I like your grocer's idea.

Miami Culinary Tours said...

I have been looking for this recipe for a long time! I used to go to a restaurant in South Beach (Miami) as they used to make this, or something very similar to this and the last time I went there, they were closed! Love, Love, Love okra

Swapna Jayesh said...

I Have just tried it .. Yummy &Tasty ..Thanks for posting this