If you are wondering whether I have burnt or charred the fry, I did not and trust me, that fry tastes delicious. I usually toast okra in the oven to the point where they turn crisp and loose all their 'green' color. I do it on purpose each time I roast okra as everyone in my family loves it that way. Trust me, if not for this post, you would not have noticed those green pieces of okra in the above picture. :) However if cooking my way, one has to pay attention at the final stages of the cooking since our aim is not to burn the okra but turn it into crispy pieces.
Okra fry is loved by everyone in our family and especially it is my daughter's favorite dish. My husband remembers to bring home okra whenever he spots the fresh ones, for her sake. Some go into making this fry and some to the Andhra style dal. The oven toasting cuts down the oil usage considerably compared to the stove-top roasting and I prefer the oven method when I want my vegetables to be crispy and guilt-free. I mostly cook okra, tindora and potatoes this way.
Okra is one of those vegetables which turn slimy if they are wet / have any trace of water on them while chopping. Here is a tip to avoid the sticky situation and save time in sitting and dry wiping each okra. Wash and drain the okra completely and leave them overnight or a few hours (depending on when okra are needed) on a thick towel to dry out or lay them on one half of the towel and cover them with the other half. By morning they will all be clean and completely dry. Then proceed with the chopping as the recipe requires.
About 2 cups finely chopped okra / 45 okra
3 to 4 tbsp. oil
Salt and chili powder to taste
* Preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
* Chop off the tips and finely chop the okra pods. Try to keep them in same size for uniform cooking. Add the chopped okra and oil to a bowl and mix well so that each okra piece is coated generously with oil.
* Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup later.)
* Spread the okra pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Slight overcrowding will do since the quantity of okra is going to be reduced after some minutes of baking.* Bake until the desired consistency is reached, flipping once or twice intermittently. Pay attention at the final stages of baking to avoid burning.
* Remove them from oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle salt and chili powder as needed and toss to combine.
* Serve with hot steamed rice.