Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Featherlight Okra


Remember the Mango boy, the witty Aamir Khan, my friend and colleague, he took us, few friends to dine at the Sarovar Portico in Mahape. There were few things on that buffet menu that were striking yet the crisp fried Bhindi was a class apart. It got a thumbs up from all of us sitting around the best table in the restaurant, the round one ofcourse. 

The Bhindi made our chatter as crisp as ever, it was after 7 long years I was meeting my buddies. The men all ears for who was upto what and especially the hot babe on the floor. We were part of a huge team and for many it was their first job. I was one of the older people in that team, I'd hated their brashness then. Most times I was low key at work but after moving on to a larger part of the org, I missed all the fun and the people until I caught up with them couple of years ago on Facebook. At the diner, We shamelessly bitched about every one from work and went down memory lane of ragging people, our kiddish fights and name calling; intruding chat logs, ok that one I did not do, it was the guys!

;
The original deep fried Okra that we loved

 Photo credit : Nitin Sharma

We did not realise how quickly it was midnight, the gentleman that Aamir is, he dropped all of us home reminding us that the next day was a Monday.

Now when I look at my team mates, its a good feeling to know they are doing well in life. Many chose partners from the team itself, they have morphed into such loving caring family people. I got to know they had organized a prayer for Mahesh Shetty, an ever smiling face we lost in the Mangalore plane crash in May 2010. People who value friendships, people who have the ability to give to another when the world restrains from sharing.

Aamir has to explore a career in stand up comedy besides he is our go to foodie guide. Nitin & Dipti  amaze me with their ability to bind people together which is a rare quality today. Shrijit, is managing his Rock star bro's career so well. Hoping to see you whenever possible, Aamir, Nitin & Dipti, Shrijit, Amol & Sujata. Aakash for speaking to us long distance. It was a lovely evening I spent with you guys. Thank you Aamir!

Back in my kitchen, I had to recreate a healthier version of that Bhindi. The secret to a featherlight Okra is to slice it thin on the Mandolin and grilling it to perfection in the microwave.

Follow the steps and I promise you the best crisp Bhindi you have tasted ever, I swear it.

Ingredients

1/4 kg Okra
2 teaspoons oil
Salt
Red chili powder

Wash and pat dry the okra. Cut off the tops and tails. Hold the thick side and slice wafer thin on the mandolin into a largish bowl. Add the oil onto the okra. Mix lightly with your figers to coat the okra with oil. In a single layer spread the sliced okra on the turn table glass itself. Set the oven on microwave + grill mode at 600 power mark. In burst of 3 mins grill the okra for a total of 12 mins. Then remove the turn table onto the counter. Make sure you are placing it on the pot holder, else the hot glass might crack if the counter is cold or it touches water spilt on it. Now sprinkle some red chili powder and salt as per your liking. I needed 2 large pinches of salt and 4 pinches of red chili powder. Mix with a tong and place back the turntable into the oven and grill for another 3 mins.

Remove into a serving bowl and let it cool a bit before you eat. Serve with dal-rice or chapati and tomato onion koshimbir gives it best company. This makes an awesome starter to go with drinks if you prefer it that way.

6 comments:

  1. Wow really wonderful and tempting crispy okras.

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  2. you know you created magic with this dish. I make it often but always deep fry it...but this healthy version is so guiltfree and tasty as well.

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    Replies
    1. Sayantani yes crisp okra is magic on the palate. Necessity dear to indulge as well as follow healthy diet.

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  3. They indeed look feather-light!

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  4. rasam powder instead of red chilly powder also adds to its taste..

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    Replies
    1. Sure Suprabha, the limit is imagination :)

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