okra or bhindi is my husband's fav veggie and we grow it in our garden, organic ones......
okra is a very good source of Vit.C , it is a low cal food : 20 calories per half cup sliced okra , it is also a good source of Vit.A , calcium and fibre, but the most interesting benefit of okra comes from the mucilage rich fibre it contains......it soothes the inner lining of stomach n intestines , detoxifies the system and is very gentle on the system unlike bran which irritates the inner lining of stomach when consumed in large quantities.
okra should not be fried to get all the benefits , stirfrying works best as the mucilage from inside the fruit is not decomposed and it gets absorbed into the powdered masalas ( cornmeal or chickpea flour can also be used for this purpose) on the outside...........
A likes it stirfried, and i make many versions of the dish.........basically using different masalas or herbs to impart the okras a different flavor each time .........we eat this particular veggie almost 4-5 times a week.........sometimes i make deep fried crispy okra which is a delicacy of sorts ( very high on oil ) ....and it's calorie count is such that i make it only for 'fries' loving guests.........i make it absolutely low fat for the two of us , but it is very flavorful always and goes well with plain chapatis with a bowl of curds.
it is very simple and quick preparation..........just wash and cut the okras (250 gm) in half , pat dry and keep aside......heat sunflower oil or mustard oil 1 tsp in a deep pan and throw in the okras with salt to taste and stir fry on medium heat for 3-4 minutes .........add 2 tsp of powdered kashmiri masala* ......fry for 2 minutes and it is ready to serve.......the okras should just be cooked and not browned for me and it is good this way as i told above........
to make powdered kashmiri masala*
fennel seeds 1 tbsp
black pepper corns 1 tbsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
cloves 5 nos.
fenugreek 1/2 tsp
cinnamon 1 inch stick
dry roast all these spices and make a powder along with 8-10 whole red chillies , 1 tbsp gry ginger pwder and 1 tbsp of amchoor ( dry mango) powder and a pinch of asafoetida.....keep in a airtight container for later use........just a tsp of this powder makes any stirfry hot, spicy and flavorful.