At Bollywood Theater, in Portland, Oregon, Troy MacLarty fries thin slices of okra to crisp wisps, tosses them in a tangy-spicy salt, and serves them with a refreshing raita (spiced yogurt; recipe follows). You'll need a food processor with a slicing disk or a handheld slicer, such as a Benriner. It's also helpful to have a fine-mesh metal skimmer for frying.
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground Indian red chili* or 1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 teaspoon amchoor* (ground dried green mangoes)
1 pound okra (preferably long pods), stem ends trimmed
Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels. Preheat oven to 175° and set baking sheet inside.
Combine salt, chili, and amchoor in a small bowl and set aside.
To slice okra with a food processor, fit processor with a 4-mm. slicing disk. Working in batches, fill feed tube with okra pods, laying them on their sides and filling the feed tube compactly; slice. Or slice okra lengthwise 1/8 in. thick using a handheld slicer.
Pour enough vegetable oil into a large pot so it comes 1 1/2 in. up the sides. Heat over high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 360°.
Using a slotted spoon or Chinese spider skimmer, lower one-quarter of okra into oil and fry until deep golden, 2 to 3 minutes; it will crisp up as it cools. Transfer to a bowl, season with spiced salt to taste (start with a little), then transfer okra to pan in oven. If you have a fine-mesh skimmer, use it to remove and discard okra seeds from oil. Return oil to 350°, then cook remaining okra the same way.
Serve okra with raita and lemon wedges.
*Find ground Indian red chile (also called chili powder, it's a mix of several chile types) and amchoor at Indian markets and khanapakana.com.
Bollywood Theater, Portland, Oregon
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