ladies finger

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Also Known As

Okra, Bhindi, Bhinda.

Description

Okra is a type of green vegetable, long finger like, having a small tip at the taporing end. Its head shows a bulge, lighter green in shade, which is often removed as inedible portion. The cross section cut okra shows white colored round seeds spread entirely inside the vegetable. One of the peculiar signs of this vegetable is the internal stickiness. The lady's finger may be cut in to round pieces or sliced in to 4 halfes or may be put whole in a mix vegetable subji. The taste is very specific to the vegetable and generally liked by children.

Deseeded ladies finger

Wash and clean the vegetable with a clean cloth. Remove a portion of its two extremes, which are inedible. Hold it in a horizontal position and cut into two halves. Now gently remove all the seeds. You may further slit it or let it remain into halves as per the recipe.

Chopped ladies finger
To prepare lady's finger subji, you need to cut them into rounds. Wash and clean the vegetable with a clean cloth. Remove a portion of its two extremes, which are inedible. Hold it in a horizontal position and start cutting in around 1 inch diameter from one end to the other. It is fine if the seeds enter the chopped vegetable as these are edible. Check for any worm or insect infestation. It may be roughly chopped or you may even finele chop it depending on the recipe by altering the diameter accordingly.
Sliced ladies finger
Wash and clean the vegetable with a clean cloth. Remove a portion of its two extremes, which are inedible. Hold it in a horizontal position and cut into two halves. Again slit into two more halves. It is fine if the seeds enter the chopped vegetable as these are edible. Check for any worm or insect infestation. It may be thickly sliced or you may even thinly slice it depending on the recipe by altering the slits accordingly.

How to Select

Lady's finger is a common vegetable, especially in India. You can get in all vegetable markets locally as well as in food malls or supermarkets. Its price is almost similar to other vegetables. Choose the fresh looking long, dark green colored ones. Avoid buying those, which have blemishes, bruises and cuts or leeked internal skickiness, which might happen during transportation. Always go for medium diameter ones, not too long, because bulgy lady's finger have very big seeds within, which spoil the delicacy of this vegetable. Avoid the shrinked okra, which happens due to moisture loss on storage. Check for any worm or insect infestation.

Culinary Uses

· Lady's finger is one of the mouth watering vegetables, due to its great palatability and flavor.
· It can be cooked as a subji, a part of the main course. It can be savored with phulkas or rotis and also be had with plain rice and dal.
· You can fry the bhindi and savor it as a starter
· Lady's finger an be used in a mix vegetable preparation such as tawa curry.
· It can also be added in sambhar instead of pumpkin.
· Try making yummy bhindi kadhi. For making it:
1) Make buttermilk out of sour curd.
2) Add little besan or channa dal flour and blend thoroughly.
3) Heat oil, add asofoetida, jeera, turmeric and curry leaves.
4) Now gently add the buttermilk and besan mixture cook over a slow flame until it starts boiling.
5) Add salt to taste, red chilli powder, methi seeds an finally the cut lady's finger.
6) Serve hot with any rice preparation.

How to Store

Lady's finger remains in good condition only for around 2 days at room temperature. There are chances of moisture loss, hence it should be stored under refrigeration temperature with relative humidity of 80-90 %. You can wash, clean and store it as a whole or may cut it into desired pieces and store in a net bag under refrigeration. Its freshness will fast for 4-5 days.

Health Benefits

· Lady's finger is a green vegetable and consists of good amounts of vitamin A, required for growth and repair of skin as well as maintain vision.
· There are also fair amounts of vitamin C, which boosts immumnity.
· Minerals present in okra include Folate, required in RBC of blood and Calcium, required for bones and teeth.
· There are good amounts for dietary fiber present, hence it is low in colories and considered good for people on weight loss.




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