Also called Lady's Fingers and Gumbo, Okra is a nutritional powerhouse. Used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes, this pod-producing tropical vegetable dates back over 3500 years ago!
Okra actually shares many kiwi fruit benefits. Okra is known for its high Vit C. Vit K and folate. It also harnesses a superior fiber which helps with digestion, stabilizing blood sugar and the controls the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the blood. There are so many more health benefits of okra....I am glad it is still my fav vegetable.
What follows is an original recipe of my mom's. It goes very well with any lentil dishes. My girls love it with a particular South Indian spiced lentil curry called Sambar.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 block form tofu (450gm/16oz), cut into medium sized cubes
1/2 lb (220gm/8 oz) okra, sliced at an angle
Oil for grilling the sliced okras and cubed tofu pieces
2 tbsp oil for cooking the dish
1 tsp urad dhall (See Note)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (See Note)
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 sprig curry leaves (See Note)
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
Salt to season
Grill the sliced okra pieces and tofu. Drain on kitchen paper towels and set aside.
Heat a pot with the 2 tbsp oil and add in the mustard seeds and urad dhall.
When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add in the sliced onion and curry leaves.
Once the sliced onions are golden brown, add in the turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt. Allow the spices to cook in the oil for 2 mins.
Add in the grilled okra and tofu pieces and combine well.
Leave the flavors to incorporate into the tofu and okra for 5 mins on low heat. Stir occasionally.
Serve hot with any lentil dishes.
Urad dhall is the split halves of the skinned whole mung bean. As with all lentils and beans, it is high in protein.
Mustard Seeds are an irreplaceable whole spice used in Indian cooking. It resembles small round balls of 1-2mm and are native to the various mustard plants. There are three main colors of mustard seeds - white, brown or black. They are a rich source of oil and protein.
Curry leaves are again used widely in Indian cuisine. They are grown in shrubs or small trees and are native to India and Sri Lanka. Curry leaves have many health properties - known to fight cancer and to protect our liver. it also helps to control diarrhea and balance our cholesterol levels. Not related to the ground spice mix called curry powder.