Okra stir fry... ( bhindi stir-fry )






Okra, known in many English-speaking countries as ladies' fingers, bhindi, bamia, or gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed 

Okra is one of many vegetables which produces edible pods. A member of the mallow family, the plant itself is coarse, tall (3 to 6 feet or more in height), and grows in warm seasons. While it is cultivated in areas such as West Africa and South Asia, it is most present in the southern United States and West Indes, The pods produced by okra are used primarily for soups, stews, and are fried or boiled as a vegetable. canning and stews or as a fried or boiled vegetable.

Botanically, okra belongs to the mallow family. Much like real marshmallow, the mucilage, a sticky substance containing polysaccharides, helps improve digestion and may be used in the treatment of gastritis, gastric ulcer and liver/gallbladder cleansing. Okra’s mucilage helps to lubricate and soothe the bowel, protecting it from chronic inflammation that can lead to irritable bowel syndrome.

To the recipe











Ingredients 

250 grams of tender okras
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp  cumin seeds
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
1/2 to turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Pinch of  asafoetida
Salt to taste
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp gram flour

Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.

Method

Wash and wipe the okras well. Pat dry 
Trim the tails and heads.
Cut each okra into thin strips approx . 4 strips each okra.

Take a deep non stick wok .
Add the oil, let it heat up,add the mustard seeds , let it crackle.
Add the cumin seeds, then add the okras and keep the flame medium hot.
Add all the spice powders and salt and keep stirring quickly. Cover and cook on medium heat  but do not add water. As we need the okras a little crunchy. Add the gram flour at the last stage just before removing okras from the flame. When the okras have softened but not sticky and wilted, remove from flame.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves .
Serve with rice ,rotis or phulkas .



Notes:

Make sure to wash and wipe  dry well or you will end up with a lot of okra slime.

Aamchur powder maybe added if you like a chat pata taste.

Adding sliced onions is your choice.








Health facts of okras

Try adding okra to your next soup, stew, or stir-fry to experience these  incredible benefits:

1. Eating okra helps to rid the body of toxins and excess cholesterol. During the process of digestion, bile which is largely made up of cholesterol soaks up acids and toxins from the body. 

The soluble pectin-based mucilaginous fibre in okra binds with this toxic bile and allows it to be eliminated quickly. If these toxic materials sit in the bowel too long they can be reabsorbed causing inflammation, leading to bowel disease.

 This same process eliminates excess cholesterol from the body thereby lowering serum cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Compared to over-the-counter constipation medications, okra is much cheaper and has none of the side effects associated with this type of medication. 

The insoluble fibre in okra absorbs water and ensures bulk in the stool, while the soothing and lubricating quality of the mucilage found in okra can aid in elimination and reduce colorectal cancer.

2. Okra helps to control blood sugar. Regulating blood sugar is a key factor in the prevention of diabetes and heart disease. The fibre in okra controls the rate at which sugar is absorbed from the small intestine into the blood stream.

3. Okra can boost your immunity. The fibre found in okra also feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Maintaining a healthy ratio of good to bad bacteria is crucial to keeping the immune system functioning.

 Okra is also a great source of vitamin C, which can reduce episodes of cold and cough and protect the body from harmful free radicals.

4. Eating okra can protect you from developing stomach ulcers. The bacteria heliobacter pylori (or h. pylori) is known to cause stomach ulcers. Okra contains glycosylated compounds which have been shown to inhibit h. pylori from attacking the lining of the stomach.

Nutritional Content of Okra:

While the “amount of nutrition” from okra varies based on how it’s consumed (pods, grams, etc), some of the key substances in the vegetable remain the same. 

Here are some prominent vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients found in okra that deserve some spotlight. Each figure is based on 1 cup (100g) of okra.

Fiber – 2.5 grams. 10% of RDA (recommended daily value)
Vitamin C – 16.3 milligrams. 27% RDA.
Folate – 46 micrograms. 11% RDA.
Vitamin A – 283 international units. 6% RDA.
Vitamin K – 40 micrograms. 50% RDA. The vitamin K found in okra is known as vitamin K1, one of two beneficial forms. The other beneficial form is K2; K3 is synthetic and should be avoided.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) – 0.9 mg. 4% RDA.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) – 0.1 mg. 9% RDA.
Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg. 9% RDA.
Magnesium – 36 mg. 9% RDA.
Manganese -  0.3 mg. 15% RDA.
Beta carotene – 225 mcg.
Lutein, Zeaxanthin – 516 mcg.
Check out the USDA Nutrient Database for a full nutritional profile of okra.

The Known Okra Health Benefits – What Okra Has to Offer

As mentioned, Okra is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are responsible for the health benefits the plant has to offer. Here are some of okra’s health benefits:

Okra Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy - An extremely important B vitamin for producing and maintaining new cells, folate is an essential compound for optimal pregnancy. 

The vitamin helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida and helps the baby to grow sufficiently. Vitamin C is also essential for fetal development. Okra is rich in both folate and vitamin C.

Helps Prevent Diabetes – Thanks to fiber and other nutrients, okra proves beneficial in normalizing blood sugar in the body, helping with diabetes.

Helps with Kidney Disease – One study published in the October 2005 Jilin Medical Journal found that regular consumption of okra can help prevent kidney disease. In the study, “those who ate okra daily reduced clinical signs of kidney damage more than those that simply ate a diabetic diet.” 

This also ties in with diabetes, as nearly 50% of kidney disease cases are caused by diabetes.

Supports Colon Health – Okra is full of dietary fiber, which is essential for colon health and digestive health as a whole. 

The fiber Okra provides helps to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency. Additionally, the vitamin A contributes to healthy mucous membranes, helping the digestive tract to operate appropriately.

Could Help with Respiratory Issues like Asthma - Okra contains vitamin C, which has been shown to help with respiratory issues like asthma.

 One study concluded that “the consumption of fruit rich in vitamin C, even at a low level of intake, may reduce wheezing symptoms in childhood, especially among already susceptible individuals.”

Promotes Healthy Skin - Vitamin C helps keep the skin looking young and vibrant. The vitamin aids in the growth and repair of bodily tissues, which affects collagen formation and skin pigmentation, and helps to rejuvenate damaged skin. Okra is full of vitamin C. 

Topical tip: Boil a handful of okra until soft. After letting it cool, mash it, and apply it to your face. After 5 minutes, your skin should feel smooth and rejuvenated.

A Health Benefits of Okra Summary – Okra is Great for:

Preventing diabetes
Promoting colon health and preventing colon cancer
Boosting digestive health
Weight management
Promoting a healthy pregnancy
Maintaining healthy skin
Protecting against free radical damage
Relief from respiratory issues like asthma, cough, or trouble breathing
Promoting eye health
Boosting mood
Constipation
Okra reduces birth defects. Enjoy okra during the pre-conception period because it’s high in folic acid, which is important for women trying to conceive.

 Okra’s also a good source of vitamin B6 and calcium. A half cup of okra provides you with 10 percent of the daily recommended levels of B6 and folic acid. Source Wiki