In the Middle East, in Europe and Turkey, these unusual fruits are called okra, and in the USA they are called okra. This dietary low-calorie product is good for those who care about their weight and health, and is very tasty, the main thing is to prepare okra correctly
In the Middle East, in Europe and Turkey, the fruits of this culture are called okra, and in the USA they are called okray.
Although in the southern United States, Okru is also often called “gumbo«.
This is an annual plant that produces interesting fruits: elongated ribbed pods the length of a finger, filled with small seeds resembling green peas. If the pod is cut, the cut is similar to
an asterisk. This low-calorie diet product (100 g only 31 kcal) is good for those who care about their weight and health, as well as for everyone else who knows how to cook it correctly.
Okra, okra, gombo (lat. Abelmoschus esculentus) — an annual herbaceous plant of the genus Abelmosh, the family Malvaceae, according to most scholars, it originated from the territory of modern Ethiopia.
One of the first mentions of Okra is found in the notes of the Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216 and described how the locals grow and eat this vegetable. From the Arab East, the okra gradually moved into the Mediterranean and beyond. During the slave trade period, many of the black slaves tried to take with them the seeds of the cultures they were used to since their childhood.
In 1658, the appearance of an okra was noted in Brazil, and in 1686 — in the Dutch colony of Suriname. So in the XVII century, she was in the New World.
Thomas Jefferson noted that by 1781 this culture was already widespread in Virginia.
And by the beginning of the XIX century it was grown in all the southern states of the USA.
Okra grows on bushes and is very similar to a miniature green pepper.
She is harvested immature. Young pods are elastic and covered with a soft down, which is removed before cooking.
Collected later, they become lethargic and fibrous.
And an unripe okra, if it is not prepared immediately, will lose all its attractiveness, including the culinary one.
Okra tastes like a mixture of asparagus and eggplant.
Only in fresh, unlike all other fruits, there is a sticky juice, giving «slimy» and thickening any dishes (from soups to stews), which are prepared with cut pods.
If a strong viscosity is not needed, the pods should be placed in water with lemon juice for 1 hour — the dish will not be so thick, but the pleasant taste of the okra will remain.
Okra is rich ascorbic acid, vitamins C and group B, which help the body recover quickly after a breakdown.
There are red and purple varieties of okra, but they are extremely rare.
In its wild form, okra is preserved only in the Antilles — wild fruit tastes much more intense, but the pulp is more fibrous and tough.
AT Syria, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Turkey and Cyprus, and Eastern Mediterranean Okra is often used when stewing meat and vegetables as a thickener.
The seeds of an okra contain about 40% oil, therefore the texture of the dish prepared with it is always slightly velvety. This is perhaps one of the most popular vegetables among residents. Middle East, North India and Pakistan.
AT India it is stewed and baked, cooked in pots along with meat, stuffed and marinated.
Okra is an essential part Vedic cuisine. On Caribbean islands Okra is often added to fish soup. On Haiti add to a mixture of rice and corn.
By the end of the twentieth century, the okra became popular and Japanese the kitchen, where it is fried in tempura and served with soy sauce.
AT Brazil love chicken cooked with this vegetable. And in the south of the United States, slices of okra in breadcrumbs are deep-fried. In Louisiana, it is the most important ingredient in Jambalaya, the national rice dish of the Cajun cuisine.
Young pickled okra, rolled up in cans, is very popular — it tastes a bit like pickled gherkins.
Okra — an essential ingredient in the famous Creole dish gumbo, thick super stew.
That’s just not quite clear, therefore, Okra is sometimes called gumbo, or, conversely, the dish got its name from the local «nickname» of a vegetable.
In our country, okra is most often sold frozen.
You do not need to defrost the pods before adding to any hot dishes.
Interestingly, okra has edible not only pods, but also leaves.
They can be cooked in the manner of beet tops or used fresh as an ingredient in lettuce.
If you roast and grind the seeds of an okra, they will make a drink very similar to coffee, only without caffeine.
This coffee ersatz was used in the USA during the Civil War, when the import of organic coffee was temporarily suspended.
Collection of okra — from August to November.
At the same time, you can buy freshly frozen parrots in stores all year round.
When choosing, pay special attention to the appearance of the vegetable.
It is better to buy not too long pods. 10 cm is their maximum length. Fruits should be bright green without any damage, moldy spots or dry areas.
Look for young and tender fruits, dense to the touch.
An overripe fruit is easily recognized by its leathery coat.
Remember that okra is a perishable product.
It can be stored only for three days in the refrigerator, wrapped in paper.