While okra might not strike you as a likely candidate for an appetizer, it makes a great little bite when battered and fried. Choose smaller okra, which are younger and very tender. This recipe was inspired by my love for Indian pakoras, which are also made with a chickpea flour–based batter. And I’ve taken a cue from classic Southern fried chicken and added buttermilk to the batter for a crunchier texture and a more flavorful bite. It’s best to eat these as soon as they come out of the hot oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, amchur, fenugreek, cayenne, and 1 tsp salt. Whisk in the buttermilk and water to form a slurry as thick as pancake batter. If too thick, thin with a little water. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Rinse the okra under cold running water and gently pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the okra in half lengthwise and fold into the chickpea batter, turning to coat evenly.
In a small heavy pot or large saucepan, heat the oil to 375°F [190°C]. Test the oil by frying one piece of battered okra, gently shaking off the excess batter before dropping it into the oil. It should bubble and quickly rise to the top. Fry for 3 to 3½ minutes, turning as needed, until golden brown. Fry the remaining okra in batches, removing them with a slotted spoon or spider. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt and serve immediately with the lemon quarters.
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