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Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) belongs to mallow family (Malvaceae) and has common names as Ladies’ fingers, bhindi, gumbo or ochro.

In season: early summer to autumn.

Buying: choose stems which are firm, not bendy, which snap cleanly and which are no longer than 5-7.5cm/2-3 inches. Larger pods tend to be tough.

Storing: unwashed in a paper bag up to 3 days in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark, dry place.

Serving allowances: 100g/4oz Per Person

Preparing okra

Cut off a small piece from both the stalk and tip of each okra. If the pods are very “fuzzy,” rub them lightly with a kitchen towel to remove some of the unwanted fuzz. Wash and dry well before using.

Suitable methods and timing for cooking okras

  • Bake/Roast: whole = 15 minutes coat with oil.
  • Boil: whole = 7-10 minutes
  • Fry/sauté: whole = coat with flour 5-10 minutes until golden brown
  • Grill: whole = 10-15 minutes brush with oil.
  • Microwave: slices = 2-3 minutes (225g/8oz)
  • Steam: whole, slices = 8-10 minutes

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