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Spicy Fried Okra

Subject: Spicy Fried Okra
From: Maryanne
Date: 3/24/2019, 8:56 AM

On 3/24/2019 5:18 PM, Maryanne wrote:

Dear Phaedrus,

On a trip to New Orleans a couple of years ago, we stopped for lunch at an Indian restaurant in 
Memphis, Tennessee. I can't remember the name of the restaurant, sorry. They had an appetizer of 
spicy fried okra that was out of this world. I can't recall the Indian name of it, just that in 
English it was just called "spicy fried okra." I've tried to find it again in other Indian 
restaurants, but they either don't have it, or what they have for fried okra is too spicy, not 
the same.

Can you help?


Hello Maryanne,

Well, without the name of the recipe or the name of the dish, I have no way to locate that exact recipe. There are a lot of recipes on the web for an Indian spicy fried okra called "Bhindi chatpatti" or some variation thereof, but they all are made with a lot of Indian spices, such as garam masala.

However, I did find a recipe in a cookbook called "Street Food" by Tom Kime that has been "Americanized." Maybe it is similar to what you had. See below.


Spicy Fried Okra (Bhindi chatpatti)

2 Tbsp Greek-style yogurt
1 1/2 cups chickpea flour
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 1/4 lbs (1kg) fresh okra
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil, for deep frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, for serving

1. To make the batter, spoon the yogurt into a large bowl. Sift in the chickpea flour,
and whisk together to blend. Add the chili powder and ground cumin. Continue whisking 
while slowly adding cold water, a few tablespoons at a time, until the batter is the 
consistency of heavy cream. If it is too thin, simply add a little extra yogurt.
Season well with salt and pepper, then set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

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.

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 don't 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 small batches until all of the okra is used.

4. Sprinkle with salt and serve in a large stack with lemon wedges to squeeze over. The
acidity of the lemon compliments the spicy okra. Alternatively, male 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.
Subject: Okra
From: Timm
Date: 3/24/2019, 10:47 PM

Hey Phaed:

There are several styles of Indian okra dishes including the one you posted and they 
require a well stocked Indian spice pantry.

I would like to offer more examples.áááááá 

Timm in Oregon

Note: Always select young okra as it will be less slimy when prepared. Wash and cut 
the okra but DO NOT wash it after cutting, it will make the preparation very gooey.

Bhindi Masala Hotel or Restaurant Style


2 to 3 tomatoes
3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled
Half inch piece ginger, peeled
3 green chilies
1/2 cup yogurt
3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons dhania jeera powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 tablespoons kitchen king masala
3/4 cup milk
3 cups bhindi/okra, chopped
Garlic powder as needed
Salt as needed
Oil for frying
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 bay leafs
1 to 2 tablespoons kasoori methi
ilantro for garnish


In a mixer grinder, add tomatoes, garlic, ginger and green chilies; puree them 
to a smooth paste. Then add yogurt, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. Continue to 
blitz it till the whole spices are ground. Keep this aside for now. In a bowl, 
add garam masala, chilly powder, dhania jeera powder, kitchen king masala and 
turmeric powder; add milk to make a thick masala paste. Chop the okra and wash 
them thoroughly. Pat them dry and fry them in oil. Sprinkle garlic powder and 
salt while frying. The okra should turn light golden and have a crunch. Strain 
the oil and place on paper towels to soak the excess oil.

In the same pan, in the remaining oil, fry the onions and bay leaf. Once the 
onions are cooked, add the tomato paste along with salt and fry till the oil 
begins to leave its sides. Then add the masala paste and continue to fry it 
for 2 more minutes. Then crush the kasoori methi and add to it along with 
garam masala. Lastly add the fried okra to it and mix it lightly.

Do not overcook the okra at this stage else it will get mushy. Take it off 
the flame and serve hot. Garnish with cilantro and serve it with any Indian 
bread or steamed rice.
Bhindi Masala Home Style


9 ounces bhindi/okra
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 small onions, peeled and chopped
2 medium size tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
Salt as required


Cut the bhindi into chunks removing head and tail. Heat a non-stick pan over 
medium flame. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil or any vegetable oil. When the 
oil is hot add bhindi to the pan. SautÚ the bhindi on low flame with the lid 
on while stirring the bhindi frequently so that they don't get burn. Once the 
bhindi is cooked, sautÚ on medium flame for 2 minutes without the lid. This 
way bhindi becomes crunchy, cooked properly and also cooking time decreases. 
Now transfer them in a plate.

In the same pan add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the cumin 
seeds and then the chopped onion; sautÚ the onion turns transparent. Add the 
ginger garlic paste, and sautÚ until the raw aroma goes away. Add the turmeric 
powder and sautÚs for 40 seconds. Now add the garam masala, coriander masala 
and red chili powder; sautÚ the masala for a 1 minute. Add the roughly chopped 
tomatoes; let the tomatoes cooked on low heat.

When masala starts coming together it means the masala is cooked. Add the 
prepared bhindi and mix them thoroughly with masala and season with salt to 
taste; sautÚ for 2 minutes.

Note: You may add amchur powder (dry mango powder) to increase the tanginess.
Bhindi ki Sabzi


3 tablespoons oil
10 bhindi/okra, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin / jeera
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Pinch hing / asafoetida
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1 green chili, stemmed and slit
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric / haldi
1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder / lal mirch powder
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon aamchur powder / dry mango powder
1 teaspoon kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder / jeera powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 tablespoon coriander leaves


In a large kadai heat the oil, (see note below). Add the chopped okra and 
coat well with oil and spread the bhindi while stirring occasionally; making 
sure the bhindi gets cooked well from all the sides. Fry until the bhindi 
turn slight golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

SautÚ the cumin and hing until they turn aromatic then add the onion and 
continue to cook. Add ginger-garlic paste and green chili and sautÚ well. 
Add the tomato and cook until they turn soft and mushy. Add the spices and 
season with salt to taste. Continue to cook on low flame until the spices 
are cooked well.

Add the fried okra and gently mix; add the garam masala powder and crushed 
kasuri methi then cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Serve bhindi ki sabzi 
garnished with few coriander leaves.

Note: A kadai is a round, deep cooking pot that is similar to a Chinese 
wok but with a tighter diameter and steeper, taller sides. Thick, and with 
a heavy rounded bottom, a kadai traditionally is made from cast iron, but 
stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum and enamel versions also have 
become popular, as are flat-bottomed versions that are more sturdy on North 
American style stoves. A kadai has two looped handles, one on either side, 
to allow ease of transportation from the place of cooking to where it will 
be served.

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