Crunchy, spicy and full of flavour, these crispy okra fries are my absolute favourite. It’s taken a good deal of trial, error and research to get to this recipe but it was worth it. If you’ve never had okra fries before, you’re in for a treat. They can be enjoyed on their own as a starter, or a side.
Okra is an incredibly popular vegetable in India, and one of my favourites. I grew up with my mum using it in all manner of recipes, so when I moved to the UK, I was really surprised by how little people knew about it. But I suppose that makes sense since it’s not native to this county and is relatively hard to find. Your best bet would be to check out your local Indian/South Asian supermarket. Some of the bigger supermarkets also do stock it, but they’re ridiculously marked up and you don’t get a whole lot, either. There’s a lot that you can do with this versatile little vegetable, but today I’m going to talk about okra fries.
You’re going to need about 300g of fresh okra (frozen’s not going to taste as good!). This equates to about 20-25 sticks of the stuff. The portion size here is for two people, so adjust your measurements accordingly. Give them a good rinse and dry them off using paper napkins or a clean tea towel. The slit then vertically into 4 pieces per okra.
If you’ve never handled okra before, a word of warning – they’re pretty sticky. So have a paper towel to hand! Once they’re all cut up, transfer them to a big bowl. Now comes the fun stuff – adding the spices in! I’ve used turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala and coriander powder, but feel free to add anything else you’ve got in your spice drawer. Sprinkle some salt as well.
For the next step, Indian recipes traditionally tend to use gram flour (also known as besan). But that is quite hard to find here in the UK, so I’m using buckwheat flour which works just as well and is available at Holland and Barratt’s!
Add in the flour and mix everything well, making sure that every piece is coated. Because okra is so sticky, the spices and flour will stick to it fairly easily.
Now it’s time to give everything a chance to sink in. Cover it and keep it aside for about half an hour. Once that’s done, it’s time to light up that hob! Use a non-stick wok or deep frying pan on a medium flame. Put the oil of your choice (I use sunflower) in the pan once the oil has heated up. Put the okra in in batches – I did about four batches in total.
Let them fry until they’re brown and crisp and then transfer them to a plate that is lined with kitchen roll so that it soaks up all the excess oil. And that’s pretty much it! They’re best when hot (and do cool down pretty fast), so don’t leave them lying around. But, honestly, I don’t think you’ll want to!
Here’s the full recipe. Enjoy!
Crispy okra fries recipe
- 350g okra
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 3-4 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp buckwheat flour
- Wash and dry the okra. Slit them vertically and transfer to a big bowl.
- Sprinkle all the spices over the okra and mix well.
- Sprinkle the buckwheat flour. Mix well again and set aside for half an hour. Add in a couple of drops of oil if you feel it’s too dry and not mixing well.
- Heat up the oil in a non-stick deep frying pan or wok. Heat the coated okra in batches in the oil, and cook them until they are brown and crispy.
- Add in another tablespoon if you need more oil. Flip the okra constantly so that it’s cooked evenly and does not burn.
- Transfer the fries to a lined plate once they’re done so that the excess oil is absorbed.
I hope you have found this useful, and will attempt to make your own! It’s really easy and these fries are simply delicious. Maybe something to try this week?