Until this dish, I hadn’t ever met an okra that I was crazy about. I never really had anything against it, and frankly I’m not sure that I’d had it any other way but fried. Fried vegetables and me don’t get along, unless it’s an asparagus, because most times I feel that the batter and the frying process heightens a slime factor that distinctly turns me off. Like way off. I know that most people are crazy about the juicy burst they get when biting into a piece of fried zucchini, frankly, it just makes me gag. Then when I asked the question: Why on earth am I eating something that is healthy and delicious in its natural state that is now not in any way whatsoever, I was forced to break up with fried vegetables altogether and this meant that okra and I had broken up as well.
So, when Shiva announced that our vegetable side dish was going okra I scowled a little. Ok, a lot. But everything he has taught me to make has been delicious so I put on my game face, flirted with the okra in the store and tried to pick out the plumpest ones. Now, even though this dish is often fried, we baked it in the oven.
Crispy Okra, Bhindi Kurkure
1 lb okra
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon chunky chat
One of the keys to this recipe is to wash the okra the night before and store it in the fridge on a plate with just a paper towel over it. The next day cut the heads and tail off and then slice the okra lengthwise. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Place the okra in a bowl and coat with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. To this add 1 teaspoon coriander and cumin. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and 1 tablespoon chunky chat masala. Toss the okra until evenly coated with the oil and spices and then arrange seed side up on a non-stick surface. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until crispy.
These came out savory, a little crunchy, with a hint of salt from the chunky chat masala. They were almost like kale chips. I couldn’t stop eating them. Every time I passed the plate I found more going in my mouth. In fact, I ate them all, and the people who usually get to taste our efforts were denied crispy okra all together. Thank goodness I can make more.