Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bhindi Fry (Okra Frites)

Scanlynn and I
recently paid a visit to a local South Indian eatery here on Curry Hill by the name of Tiffinwallah. It's a charming little place with a homey feel and decorated with 3-tier tiffins. It immediately brought back memories of school and my dabba wallah. As I tried explaining the concept of the Tiffinwallah to Scanlynn, I realized that the Indian tiffin delivery system that I didn’t think twice about was such an elaborate and complicated ordeal. The New York Times recently had a big article about the Tiffinwallahs of Mumbai and their FedEx like precision delivery systems. This article does more justice to it than anything I can ever say about it. And all this fuss just so that people like myself that too lazy to go down during lunch hour can get hot, home cooked lunches at their desks at work (or school). Although my dabba wallah at school operated at a much smaller scale, he did cater to about 100 students. One of my pet peeves about my dabba was getting watery curries in my lunch, which would inevitably spill out of the tiffin making a soggy mess. And my favourite tiffin food was Bhindi Fry. Just like my mother made it. Thin cut, deep fried, devoid of any nutritional content and spiced to perfection with warm thin chapattis. They were more like Bhindi Frites really. Although the Tiffinwalah remains a distant memory for this gourmand, the Bhindi Fry will always be a big hit in my kitchen

1 lb Okra (Lady Fingers) quartered longitudinally
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp Coriander powder
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying

Deep-fry the okra till it is crisp and then drain it
Heat a deep pot and put okra in it
Add drizzle all spices and salt over okra and stir it so that the spices are evenly distributed over the okra.
Squirt a little lemon and garnish with coriander
Serve with warm fluffy chapattis or pooris.