February 8th, 2013
Spicy Baked Okra (Ladyfinger)
Okra or lady finger as we call it here in India brings back deep memories embedded in my mind. It takes me back to the time when I travelled with my 40 day old baby to my parental home for post natal care, where I was nurtured and cocooned in the comfort of my parents home. It so happened that part of this nurturing involved eating okra every single day for the many weeks that followed thereafter. Supposed to be good for the new mother and the baby, they were part of my lunch, every single day! Naturally, due to over indulgence, I couldnt look at these innocent vegetables for a good couple of years! And this meant that my dear husband had to go without his favourite vegetable for a really long time! My aversion to okra or lady finger seems to have finally disappeared and I find myself cooking it often in different styles and methods. I have come across many people who dislike okras and more often than not it is due to improper cooking methods, making it slimy and unpalatable. Cooked in the right way, okras can be one of the most delicious vegetables. They are often deep fried to get a crispy external texture, but like me if you are not very fond of deep frying then you will love this alternate way of cooking them. This was also one of the dishes featured in the TV show I did in 2012. Many of you have asked for this recipe and this one is for all of you! You could serve this as a starter or as a side dish to a main meal. Hope you all love this as much as I enjoyed making and eating it today!
Spicy Baked Okra (Ladyfinger) Recipe
Choose tender young okras for this dish. Keep in mind that the cooking time can vary based on the size of the okras.
250 gm (15 to 20) okra or lady finger 1 tsp coriander (dhaniya) powder 1 tsp cumin powder 1/2 tsp red chili powder 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 1/2 tsp raw mango (amchur) powder 1 tsp salt 2 to 3 tbsp oil 4 to 5 tsp chickpea (besan) flour chaat masala
Wash and pat dry the okra pieces. Ensure it is completely dry. Slit the top portion of the okra without splitting into two halves, with the base of the okra intact. In a bowl put in the spices, the coriander, cumin, red chili, turmeric, raw mango powders, the salt and the oil and give it a good mix. Rub this spice mix all over the okra. Sprinkle with the chickpea flour and toss once again. Place the prepared okras in the middle rack of an oven and bake at 200 C/400 F for about 15 minutes, until the okras acquire a crispy skin. Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve. Serves 4 or less