Chai Pani's Matchstick Okra Fries
Let's face it; okra gets a bad rap. People typically don't like it because of its texture, often referring to it as "slimy" or "oozy," but in fact, okra is a delicious vegetable that has a refreshing and grassy flavor, pairing well with corn, tomatoes, and eggplant. To the skeptical okra eaters out there please pay attention, there is no trick to enjoying okra, it's just how you prepare it. Growing up in India, chef Meherwan Irani's mom was in a constant battle with her sons about their abysmal okra consumption. It wasn't until the okra fry came into the picture that Meherwan saw the light, the crispy, green, lime juice, and chaat masala-covered light. Instead of chopping the little green pods into short segments, Meherwan's mom julienned the veggies by hand, cutting the okra into long, thin strips, and then frying them in canola oil. Lime juice, chaat masala, a funky, zippy, Indian seasoning salt, gave the okra fries added flavor and brightness. Fast forward to 2019 and Meherwan's Mom's Matchstick Okra Fries are a staple on the Chai Pani menu and have gained notoriety, with features in numerous magazines and online articles, including Garden & Gun. Can't make it to a Chai Pani anytime soon? Make 'em at home and be ready to change the way you think about okra!