Bhindi chatpatti Spicy fried okra Okra, or bindhi, is cooked in many different ways in all sorts of Sri Lankan and Indian dishes. For best results it should be fried in a little oil until golden brown with a nutty taste, then added to other vegetables or covered with a sauce. This recipe is very simple and is eaten as a snack in many parts of Sri Lanka and India. When I first had okra this way, I found them so delicious that it was difficult for me to stop eating them. These work well at the start of a large meal.
– 2 tbsp Greek-style yogurt.
– 1½ cups chickpea flour.
– 1½ tsp chili powder.
– 1 tsp ground cumin.
– 21⁄4lb (1kg) fresh okra.
– 1¼ cups vegetable oil, for deep frying.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
– lemon wedges, for serving.
Step 2: Cut the okra in half lengthwise. Place in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Let drain for a few minutes, then give the colander a good shake to drain off any excess water. Turn the okra onto a clean towel, and pat dry to remove any moisture.
Step 3: Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy pan over medium heat. To test that the oil is hot enough, coat a piece of okra with the batter and drop into the oil. It should sizzle immediately; if it doesn’t, let the oil get hotter before adding any more okra. When the oil is ready, take a handful of okra and dip into the batter. Carefully drop the battered okra into the hot oil, scattering them across the surface of the oil so that they do not stick together. (It is important to cook the okra in batches; otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop and the okra will become soggy.) Move the okra around the pan as they are frying, separating them with a slotted spoon. Fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown all over. Remove from the oil and drain well on paper towels. Keep warm while you continue cooking in batches until all the okra is used.
Step 4: Sprinkle with salt and serve in a large stack with lemon wedges to squeeze over—the acidity of the lemon complements the spicy okra. Alternatively, make small parchment paper cones, securing the edges with toothpicks. Fill each one with some of the fried okra, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice before serving at once.