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Feb 22

Okra or Bhindi recipe

Okra, or lady finger or bhindi is a wonderful vegetable for its health benefits. It is known to have great nutrients such as iron, calcium, zinc, manganese and magnesium, vitamins A, B6, K and C and is a good source of dietary fiber. It is low on calories, low on carbohydrates and cholesterol, and helps prevent diabetes and clear constipation. Okra seeds contain oil and protein that are great for the body…the list is endless. Consuming Okra regularly can help improve health and even be a great preventive for a lot of health issues.

A lot of people avoid Okra since it can ooze out a slimy liquid and is difficult to handle. Some people also believe they wont like Okra until they have actually tasted it. However, when properly handled, Okra can be cooked well without the slime and is very easy to make. A rarity for healthy foods, Okra is absolutely delicious.

Okra grows in warm climates, so if it is winter, you may not get the best quality Okra in the grocery market. When buying, make sure its skin is not blemished and the skin if=s firm but not hard. If the Okra is very ripe and the seeds are hard, it will not cook well and will not become tender.

There are a few things to remember when making Okra using my recipe:

1. Wash and dry it before chopping. Water makes it slimy and that is highly avoidable

2. Do not add water when cooking Okra. That will also make it slimy. Make sure it remains dry at all times during preparation.

3. Prefer a non stick pan so that the oil used is at a minimum, and it does not stick to the bottom. This makes it easier to handle as well.

4. If Okra begins to stick, just cover it and leave it alone for a few minutes after reducing the heat. The steam will help it to come clean.

5. Before cooking Okra, take it out of the refrigerator and bring it down to room temperature. If it is cold, it is more likely to have moisture and become slimy when cooking.

6. You can chop Okra in small pieces, or bigger pieces. The bigger pieces make a nicer presentation, but mostly it is a matter of preference.

7. There are other means of cutting the slime in Okra preparation, by adding yoghurt or tomato, for instance. But my recipe is made without these ingredients, and it is important to keep it dry for this preparation because of this.

Here is the recipe for this preparation:

Okra or Bhindi recipe

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp. oil. Okra requires a little more oil than other vegetables
  • 1 lb Okra or Bhindi, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 tsp shredded ginger
  • 2 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. Take oil in a pan.
  2. Keep the heat on medium high.
  3. Adjust the heat if Okra starts to bottom catch.
  4. Once oil has heated, add the cumin seeds.
  5. After about 30 seconds and when the cumin seeds are slightly brown, add the onion.
  6. Saute till onion is golden brown.
  7. Add the ginger. Remember to add ginger after onions are almost done or done, since ginger cooks much sooner than onion. If the onion and ginger are added at the same time, the ginger can begin to burn and bottom catch since it will be cooked before the onion.
  8. After a few seconds, add the Okra.
  9. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric.
  10. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Taste and adjust salt after about 10 minutes.
  12. Okra should be ready when tender.
  13. Serve hot.
  14. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
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