Whether you call them okra, ladies’ fingers or bhindi these vegetables are delicious. My favourite way to have them is just fried, but this way is slightly more substantial and probably less calorific.
Okra are hard to find in regular supermarkets, but easy to get in Asian and African shops. They’re also not seasonal; so are available year-round.
I bought okra a few days ago for E5.49 per kilo – enough for me and my children to eat twice cost me just E1.15. That’s cheaper than broccoli. When choosing ladies’ fingers, the trick is to go for those that are the brightest green. To test for freshness, hold one so the curve is towards you and press the tip lightly away from you. The tips of the freshest vegetables will snap right off. If the okra bend over, they are too old and you need to leave them behind.
Okra With Tomatoes & Capsicum
1 Green Pepper (or Yellow or Red, if you don’t have Green)
1/2 Tin of Tomatoes
1 Teaspoon of Turmeric Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder
1/2 Teaspoon of Garam Masala
1 Tablespoon of Lemon Juice
Oil for Frying
Wash the okra and dry the well.
Cut the tops (not the pointy ends) off the okra and slice them length-wise.
Peel and chop the onion.
Slice the pepper – removing the seeds and membrane.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan.
Fry the onion until it’s soft.
Add the capsicum and keep frying for a few minutes.
Stirring well, add the tomatoes, spice powders and lemon juice.
Add a pinch of salt and mix well.
Turn the heat down low and continue cooking and stirring.
Don’t be tempted to add any water, because this will make the okra slimy.
We had this with red lentils and rice. I don’t have a picture of the finished product, because (to be honest) I forgot to snap one before we tucked in!