If using whole fresh okra, wash thoroughly, drain, and cut stems off. You can slice them in half length wise or slice them into 1/2 inch rounds. Frozen cut okra saves time. Place in bowl and set aside.
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F. (You may not need to use this much oil; do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.) Get a cookie sheet and line with paper towels. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, black pepper, and salt. Mix well.
In a separate bowl add buttermilk and hot pepper sauce. Whisk together
Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well.
Carefully add okra to the HOT oil and cook until golden brown. (It may be necessary to fry the okra in batches.)
Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately with favorite dipping sauce.