Okra (Lady’s fingers, bhindi, gumbo)


Okra, vegetable stable of south Asian countries, around the Mediterranean basin, Ethiopia and many African countries, is now becoming quite popular in North America. This is mainly due to immigrants hailing from countries where okra is used almost daily in one form or another.

It may have originated in south Asia, or Ethiopia, or western Africa, and merchants brought it to a number of countries with which they were trading.

In 1658, slave traders brought okra to the U S A by.

It is a mucilaginous, fibre rich vegetable, that grows on perennial plants reaching up to two metres. Most are now trimmed lower for easy picking.

Several countries grow okra, including the U S A, Mexico, Egypt, Turkey, India, Iran, Greece, Spain, Tunisia, and Morocco, but the tastiest originate in India, if and when they are picked when approximately five centimetres long.

Okra is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, E, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

Each pot has many seeds.

Okra can be used in stews, or sliced and fried, or in soups for “binding”.

Since it is mucilaginous resulting in “goo” or slime when stewed, English speaking people generally stay away from eating it except when in New Orleans, as many tourists are eager to try gumbo which is a seafood and vegetable soup thickened with okra.

Always buy bright, smooth, unblemished green pods approximately five centimetres long.

Refrigerate in a paper bag.

July to September is the best time, but it is available throughout the year in North America as an imported vegetable.


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