Okra Ayurvedic Gumbo

Okra is usually grown in hotter climates. It is a ridged cone shape, about 2-4 inches long, and filled with lots of white round seeds. The exterior is a fresh green. Okra is a source of dietary fiber, folic acid and potassium. Okra is a tri-doshic vegetable — good for balancing all three doshas. It has a delicious pungent taste. Choose young, tender pods; overly-mature ones can be fibrous and tough. Okra releases a sticky substance when cut. Whole fried okra is less sticky. If frying okra, use ghee or olive oil.

To reduce the stickiness for other dishes, wipe okra dry before you cut, and use a dry knife and cutting board. Quick-sauté okra with spices in ghee to reduce secretion of the sticky substance. Okra combines well with other vegetables such as potatoes, corn and shredded coconut.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups okra, washed and sliced into ½-inch pieces (discard the stems)
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • ½ teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mango powder (amchur), available at Indian food stores
  • ½ inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat ghee in a frying pan and add the fresh ginger. After one minute add cumin and coriander.
  2. Fry for another minute. Add the okra, dry mango powder, and turmeric.
  3. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the okra is tender. Add salt and serve with your main dish.

The Wide World of Vegetables