Friday, March 23, 2018

Fried Okra Smothered in Toasted Chickpea Flour

Fried Okra Smothered in
Toasted Chickpea Flour
The alkalinity in okra takes some getting used to, if you're trying it for the first time. It's a popular vegetable in India and Burma (or Myanmar as it is now known). There are several techniques to cut down on the alkalinity. 

Keep the okra dry at all times, so wash the pods and dry overnight before cutting or wipe each pod dry before cutting. Toss the cut okra in sufficient amchur (dried mango powder) before cooking. Fry the okra in oil until de-alkalized before seasoning or adding chopped onions and tomatoes. Toss the cooked okra with toasted chickpea flour and toast some more until it turns golden brown.

To add a Burmese flavour to this dish, I seasoned the chickpea flour with dried shrimp powder and seasoned the okra with fish sauce instead of salt, before frying with onions, garlic and tomatoes.


1 lb. (about 60) tender okra, washed & dried and cut in 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 dried red chillies/shukno lanka, stem removed and left whole
1 large onion, peeled and minced
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 large tomato, minced
2 Tbsp. amchur (dried mango powder)
1/2 tsp. hing/asafetida
6 Tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
1/2 cup besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. Kashmiri mirch/chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 Tbsp. dried shrimp powder
salt or fish sauce to taste

  1. Toss chopped okra with amchur and set aside.
  2. Mix besan with chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and dried shrimp powder.
  3. In a dry skillet, toast besan until it releases a nutty aroma and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet and sputter cumin seeds and dried red chillies.
  5. Stir-fry okra in the hot oil with turmeric and hing.
  6. When okra is cooked dry, add fish sauce (or salt) to taste, chopped onions, garlic and tomatoes.
  7. Stir-fry until oil resurfaces and tomatoes release all their juices.
  8. Add toasted besan and stir-fry until besan turns golden brown.
Serve as a side dish with steamed rice or chapatis. 

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