So we've gone from Indian to Middle Eastern for my "dinner for one" and now it's back to India with this simple dish I reckon most people would like. If I can make assumptions, that is. Every time I duck over to the Fiji Market to top up the spices in my pantry I spot the fresh okra sitting in the fridge, consider grabbing some, and then leave without buying any. I've never really been a huge fan of okra due to its slimy innards which explains why I never cook with it.
What I've basically done here is slice them lengthways, tossed in chickpea flour and shallow-fry them until cooked and crispy on the edges. Okra chips, if you will. Indian style. One of my favourite Indian spice mixes is chaat masala - it's a little hot, packed with spices and has a great zesty sharpness that goes perfectly with roasted potatoes or, as I often do, stick my finger in the mix and lick it clean. A box of it will set you back a couple of dollars or if you're willing, try finding a recipe online and knock it up yourself. A couple of the other ingredients I've used may scare a few of you off but any good spice shop or Indian providore will have them on the shelves. My potted curry leaf plant I bought a few years ago at the Fiji Market is finally big enough to snip from, so having fresh curry leaf on hand is a real bonus.
This bhindi masala is a great little snack food with a chilled beer or a bit of a fancy nibble at your next barbeque rather than that dreaded pre-made dip in plastic tubs.
Keep posted for my end product using the tasty dishes I've been shooting through the last few days. See you tomorrow!
- 200 g okra, cut in quarters lengthways
- 3 tbsp chickpea, or regular flour
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes, or powder
- ¼ tsp (anardana) pomegranate powder
- 1 tbsp chopped curry leaves
- ½ tsp kalonji (nigella) seeds
- ¼ tsp turmeric
In a large mixing bowl toss the quartered okra with the flour. Set aside.
Combine the remaining ingredients, except the oil, mix well and set aside.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat and fry the okra for about 8 minutes, tossing around gently so that they cook through. Remove and drain the okra on paper towels then toss through the spice mix.
Serve while hot.