Crispy Indian Okra: How to Make Delicious Bhindi Kurkuri

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a piece of okra that’s so crispy and flavorful it transports you straight to the bustling streets of Mumbai. Crispy Indian okra, or “Bhindi Kurkuri” as it’s fondly called in Hindi, is a beloved dish that turns the often slimy vegetable into a crunchy delight. This recipe offers a fantastic twist on the traditional way of cooking okra, incorporating aromatic spices that are the hallmark of Indian cuisine.

Ingredients

Get ready to transform okra into a delectably crispy and aromatic dish with these carefully selected ingredients.

Main Ingredients

  • 1 lb Fresh Okra (Bhindi), tops trimmed and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 Cup Gram Flour (Besan)
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Flour
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Mango Powder (Amchur)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)

Required Tools and Equipment

Before you start whipping up your crispy Indian okra, make sure you have the right tools on hand to make the process smooth and enjoyable. Gather the following equipment to ensure your okra turns out perfectly crunchy and flavorful:

  • Large mixing bowl: You’ll use this to combine the okra with the spices and flours. Ensure it’s large enough to mix everything thoroughly without spilling.
  • Slotted spoon: Very useful for frying the okra. It allows you to remove the okra pieces from the hot oil while letting excess oil drip off.
  • Frying pan or deep fryer: Choose a frying pan with deep sides if you’re using a stove. If you have a deep fryer, that works even better for maintaining consistent oil temperature.
  • Paper towels: Have these ready to drain the fried okra and absorb any extra grease.
  • Measuring spoons and cups: Precision matters in this recipe, so make sure to measure your spices and flours accurately.
  • Kitchen scale (optional): If you prefer exact precision or are scaling up the recipe, a kitchen scale could be very helpful.
  • Stirring spoon or spatula: You’ll need this for stirring the okra with the spice and flour mixture. A spatula works excellently to mix without breaking the tender pieces of okra.
  • Thermometer (optional): If you want to ensure the oil is at the optimal temperature for frying (which is about 350°F or 175°C), use a kitchen thermometer.

Preparation Steps

Now that you have all your ingredients and equipment ready, let’s dive into the exciting part of preparing the Crispy Indian Okra. Follow these steps to ensure your okra turns out perfectly crunchy and flavorful!

Washing and Drying Okra

Begin by rinsing the fresh okra under cold running water to remove any dirt or impurities. After washing, it’s crucial to dry each piece thoroughly. Spread the okra out on a clean kitchen towel or layers of paper towels and gently pat them dry. Ensure no moisture remains, as water will prevent the okra from becoming crispy when fried.

Cutting Okra

Once your okra is dry, line them up on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, trim off the tops and the very tip of the tail end of each okra pod. Then, slice each pod vertically into thin strips, approximately 1/4 inch wide. Be consistent with the thickness to promote even frying. Keep the sliced okra in a separate bowl as you work through the batch.

Cooking Instructions

Now that your okra is sliced and ready, it’s time to move on to seasoning and cooking. Follow these steps closely to achieve the perfect crispiness for your Bhindi Kurkuri.

Mixing Ingredients

  1. Start by placing the sliced okra in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder. Ensure these spices are evenly sprinkled over the okra to maximize flavor coverage.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of gram flour and 2 tablespoons of rice flour over the seasoned okra. These flours will help in achieving the crisp texture.
  4. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of lemon juice onto the mixture. The acidity of the lemon juice will brighten the flavors and add a slight tang.
  5. Use your hands to gently mix the ingredients. Ensure each piece of okra is well-coated with the flour and spice mixture without breaking the okra slices. The coating should be light and even, without any flour clumps.
  6. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes. This resting period allows the flours to adhere better to the okra, enhancing the crispiness when fried.

Frying the Okra

  1. Heat a large, deep skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat and pour in oil enough to submerge the okra, typically about 1-2 inches.
  2. Test the oil temperature by dropping a small pinch of the flour mixture into it. If it sizzles and comes up to the surface quickly, your oil is hot enough.
  3. Carefully add the coated okra pieces to the hot oil in batches. Do not overcrowd the pan to avoid temperature drops in the oil, which can result in soggy okra.
  4. Fry each batch for about 3-4 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crisp. Keep the heat consistent to ensure even cooking.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to remove the okra from the oil and transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  6. Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor, garnished with a sprinkle of chaat masala or additional salt if needed.

Serving Suggestions

After you’ve mastered the art of making crispy Indian okra, it’s time to think about the best ways to serve this delicious dish. The crunchy texture and robust flavors of Bhindi Kurkuri make it a versatile companion to many meals. Here are some top suggestions to enhance your dining experience:

Pair with Indian Breads

Serve your crispy okra alongside a variety of Indian breads. Opt for soft, fluffy naan or some warm chapatis. These breads are perfect for scooping up small bites of okra, and they complement the spices beautifully.

Accompany with Rice Dishes

Bhindi Kurkuri pairs wonderfully with aromatic rice dishes. Try it alongside a fragrant basmati rice, a bowl of jeera (cumin) rice, or even biryani. The crispness of the okra contrasts nicely with the soft rice, making for a satisfying texture combination.

Use as a Topper

Consider using your crispy okra as a topper for simple salads or even soups to add a crunch. Its crispy texture offers a delightful contrast to softer, creamier dishes. Sprinkle it over a cucumber or tomato salad, or add a handful to a bowl of dal (lentil soup) just before serving.

Enjoy with Dips

Transform your crispy okra into a fun appetizer by serving it with a selection of dips. A mint yogurt dip or a tamarind chutney can be perfect for dipping. These cool, creamy, or tangy dips complement the warm spices used in your okra perfectly.

Create a Mixed Vegetable Platter

Why not make a mixed vegetable platter for your next gathering? Combine crispy okra with other popular Indian snacks like samosas, aloo tikki (potato patties), and paneer pakoras (fried paneer fritters). This assortment offers a variety of flavors and textures that are sure to impress your guests.

Make-Ahead Tips

Preparing Crispy Indian Okra ahead of time can be a game-changer, especially when you’re planning to host a meal or need a quick side dish ready at a moment’s notice. Here are some effective tips to ensure your “Bhindi Kurkuri” is deliciously crispy every time, even when made in advance.

Washing and Drying

Start by thoroughly washing the okra under cold running water to remove any dirt or impurities. Since moisture is the enemy of crispiness, ensure you completely dry each piece using a clean kitchen towel or letting them air dry on a paper towel. The drier your okra, the crispier it will be when cooked.

Cutting and Preparing

Once dry, trim the ends of the okra and slice them lengthwise into thin strips. This not only helps them cook faster but also maximizes the surface area for that ultimate crisp texture. Place the cut okra in a bowl and lightly sprinkle with salt. The salt helps draw out any remaining moisture. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, then pat dry again.

Seasoning in Advance

Mix your chosen spices — typically a blend of turmeric, chili powder, amchur (dry mango powder), and salt — in a small bowl. You can coat the okra with this spice mix and keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. This step can be done up to a day ahead. The longer the okra marinates with the spices, the more flavorful it will be.

Frying Strategy

For the crispiest results, fry the okra just before serving. However, if you need to fry it ahead of time, do not overcrowd the pan; this prevents the okra from becoming soggy. Once fried, let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container lined with a paper towel at room temperature. Reheat in a preheated oven at 350°F (177°C) for about 5-7 minutes to bring back the crispness before serving.

Following these make-ahead tips, you can enjoy perfectly crispy Bhindi Kurkuri with minimal last-minute preparation. Whether you’re adding them to a platter or enjoying them as a standalone snack, these steps ensure your okra remains delectably crunchy.

Conclusion

Ready to dive into the delightful crunch of Bhindi Kurkuri? Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just spicing up your weekday menu this crispy Indian okra will surely impress. Remember the key to that perfect crunch lies in the preparation—wash dry and season your okra well. Don’t hesitate to experiment with the serving options; it pairs wonderfully with almost anything on your dining table. So go ahead give it a try and watch this crispy delight become a new favorite in your culinary repertoire!

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