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Popular & Easy Okra Recipes

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Okra is known by many different names as lady’s finger, Kingombo, gumbo and often called as Bhindi (Hindi) in India. It is a magical vegetable whose texture varies dramatically depending on how it's cooked. It usually grows well in any good garden soil. Shallow cultivation near the plants keeps down weeds. Its flavour is quite subtle, so it benefits from being cooked with strong, spicy ingredients.

Okra is popular in India and Pakistan, where chopped pieces are stir fried with spices known as the okra frypickled, salted or added to gravy-based preparations like Bhindi Ghosht or sambar. In western parts of India (Gujarat, Maharashtra),  okra is often stir-fried with some sugar. Okra is also used in Kadhi. Lady’s finger is used to make sambar in Udupi cuisine. In southern India, the okra is cooked in a spicy and tangy tamarind sauce called Vendakai Okra Kozhambu. Some of the fantastic and delectable dishes made from this humble and fresh vegetable are:

  • Bhendi Jaipuri: It is an awesome dish from the Rajasthani cuisine that has rubbles of crispy fried okra, onions and cashew nuts dusted with spices and gram flour which is extraordinary made delectable. 

  • Bendakaya pulusu: This is an Andhra preparation which is tamarind based gravy that gives a tangy flavor to the okras. Okra cooked in a seasoning of mustard, cumin seeds, red chilies, coriander powder, jeera powder; flavored with garlic and fresh curry leaves and thick tamarind pulp added to make a nice tangy sweet sauce. A little jaggery is added to balance all flavours rightly.

  • Bharvan bhindi: It is a simple way of relishing the okra or lady's finger with stuffed spices, full of aroma and simple but amazing flavor.

  • Dahi BhendiHere's a great way to enjoy a Rajasthani delicacy that is simply sumptuous and low in calories. Above all, the rich and fascinating aroma is so tempting that you won't feel that you're eating low calorie food. 

  • Bhendi Masala Maharashtrian StyleIt is a traditional Maharashtrian style spicy bhindi masala made with okra that is deep fried and added to a spicy and tangy spice mix powder that makes the okra delicious, flavorful and mouth-watering. The fried cashew nuts added to this dish enhances the flavors and gives crunchiness to the dish. 

  • Bhindi Kurkuri Crispy Okra:It is made with finely sliced pieces of okra mixed to chick pea flour and spices; deep fried until crispy.

  • Sambhar:Lentil based south Indian dish, slightly tangy to taste combined with a mix of vegetables, spices, and freshly ground sambar powder that gives a thumping aroma all over the house. 

Health Tips:

  • Okra is low in calories, being a great vegetable for people trying to lose weight, and good for the digestive system.
  • Okra is a powerhouse of soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins which helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Okra also have a large amount of insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colorectal cancer.
  • Okra contains potassium, vitamin A, B6 and C, folic acid, and calcium. It’s low in calories. Potassium is necessary to maintain proper fluid balance in the body.
  • Okra contains no cholesterol or saturated fat, which are two components that should be avoided when losing weight.
  • Women who are pregnant are urged to incorporate okra into their diets due to the high content of folic acid. Folic acid is essential for the healthy growth of a fetus especially during the fourth week through the twelfth week of pregnancy.
  • okra absorbs so much water, eating this vegetable can prevent constipation, bloating, excess cholesterol, excess bile, and certain toxins.
  • Okra is great to eat during the heat of summer as it helps to treat sun stroke.

Most of the above dishes are always tempting with its subtle seductive magic of flavors and sheer visual delight that allures our taste buds. Do try these recipes and delight your palate with different variations.

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