I learned to love okra from this recipe, in large part because of an important tidbit that I learned from Julie Sahni’s introduction to the recipe. “Sliminess results when cut okra comes in contact with water,” she writes. In order to avoid sliminess, “Always remember two things when cooking okra: Dry the washed okra thoroughly before cutting it. Salt it only after it is fully cooked, as salt will cause the okra to sweat.”
From Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni
1 pound fresh okra
2 green chilies (optional)
3 tablespoons light vegetable oil
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1. Wash the okra under running cold water, and wipe dry with kitchen towels. Trim both ends, and slice the okra into ¼-inch-thick rounds. Slit and seed the chilies, and slice them also into ¼-inch-thick rounds.
2. Heat the oil over high heat in a large frying pan. When it is very hot, add the okra and chilis. Spread them into an even layer. Let the okra sizzle undisturbed for a minute, then reduce heat to medium. Cook the okra, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even cooking. Increase heat to high, and now, fry the okra, stirring rapidly, for 5 minutes, or until it is lightly browned (the browning will be uneven). Turn off heat, sprinkle with salt, and toss the fried okra well to coat all pieces evenly.