Today I’m sharing a recipe for Kurkuri Bhindi – Crispy Okra. Kurkuri Bhindi is a dish that has its origins somewhere in North India. I say somewhere because more than a couple of states make this dish and in their own way. The name, in Hindi, describes the dish perfectly – crispy okra.
There are a lot of people in this world who don’t like okra, while some do. I’m somewhere on the fence. I like okra in some dishes, so long as it’s crisp and not slimy once it’s cooked. I also have a distinct preference for my own cooking when it comes to okra.
However, Kurkuri Bhindi – Crispy Okra is probably the one okra dish that I’d eat anywhere. For one it’s crisp and crunchy. There’s no hint of slime and many people will not even recognize it as okra until you mention it.
There are many recipes for this dish out there. Every family has their own recipe for Kurkuri Bhindi – Crispy Okra that they will tell you is the best. Some use chickpea flour, some use only rice flour and some like me use both. A lot of variation in recipes also comes from the spices used to coat the okra.
I come from the Southern part of India and this recipe is not traditional there. The recipe below is based on a mix of spices I use which is pretty much close to traditional versions. You need to use quite tender okra for this recipe. Baby okra works best. If you have the long variety of okra, you can halve them.
Some people prefer to remove the seeds in the okra but I personally don’t bother. I feel the seeds add to the crispy nature of this dish. The thinner the okra strips, the crisper the Kurkuri Bhindi – Crispy Okra will be.
This recipe is generally served as a side dish with rice or chappathis, and also served as a snack with tea. Some people prefer to lightly sprinkle the fried okra with chaat masala while serving it as a snack.
Kurkuri Bhindi - Crispy Okra
- 250 gm okra/ bhindi
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tbsp fine rice flour
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- pinch Aasafetida powder
- 1/2 tsp amchur or dried mango powder optional
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- Oil for deep frying
- Wash the okra and pat them dry. Trim both ends and cut each okra lengthwise into quarters. If the quartered okra seems a little wide, halve them so they’re thinner. You don’t want very thin pieces either. Put them in a largish bowl.
- In a bowl, mix together the flours, all the spices and the salt. Sprinkle this flour-spice mix over the okra strips and toss well till the okra is uniformly and well coated. You can do the deep frying immediately. I prefer to let the okra sit for about 20 minutes. I find that this helps because the oil flour-spice mix sticks to the okra better.
- Heat the oil in a wok. The oil should be reasonably hot but not smoking hot. Deep fry in small batches to ensure the okra fries well and crisp.
- Drop a small handful of the okra into the hot oil. Loosen clumps first, if any, with your fingers while dropping them in. Fry till the okra are a golden brown and crisp.
- Remove from the oil and allow to the crisp okra to drain on paper towels. Serve immediately.