Crisp-fried okra with mango relish
Okra slivers dusted with spiced gram flour and fried until crisp take bar snacks to a whole new level.
As Roopa Gulati says herself, for the best crisp-fried okra, choose firm, dry and young okra pods, topped and tailed. Wipe them clean with kitchen paper rather than running them under water, which makes them lose texture. In this recipe, it is the innocuous-looking carom seeds (known as ajwain) that punch far above their weight. A little goes a seriously long way, so don’t be tempted to throw a few extra seeds into the mixture as it could easily turn bitter.
Choose unripe mangoes for the mango relish – those at Indian grocery stores are best, but you could use unripe supermarket varieties too.
Roopa Gulati is a chef, author and broadcaster. Her new cookery book, India The World Vegetarian came out in April 2020 and includes a great range of recipes focused on regional flavours. For more great dishes from the book like this crisp fried okra, you can also have a look at this recipe for channa chaat or this one for peas and paneer.
- 300g okra, topped and tailed
- 100g gram flour
- ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder
- 2 tablespoons chaat masala (see below) or mango powder (amchoor)
- 1 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain) or 1 teaspoon roasted and ground cumin seeds
- Sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- Fine salt
- For the mango relish:
- 350g green mangoes, peeled, halved and stoned
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- ¾ teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon black salt
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- For the chaat masala:
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1½ tablespoons dried mint leaves
- Small pinch of ground asafoetida (heeng)
- ¾ tablespoon ground black salt
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 tablespoons mango powder (amchoor)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder