It is fair to say not a lot of Australian’s would be familiar with this vegetable, unless they have ethnic heritage. Also known as Ladies Fingers, Okra is a popular vegetable in many cultures, including Greek, Middle Eastern, Indian and Sri Lanka. Okra is also an essential ingredient in the famous Creole dish, Gumbo.
From experience it seems Okra is a little polarising as there are a lot of people who don’t find the slimy nature of this vegetable apppealing. The slimyness can be reduced by stir frying, however for me, I love the goo.
When choosing okra, look for small little pods if possible, these tend to be more tender. This recipe I’ve included here is of Sri Lankan origin and includes an usual ingredient called Maldive Fish Chips. If you don’t have this, I’m sure you can omit it, however it does had a very unique flavour that is synomous with Sri Lankan vegetable dishes.
Okra in Coconut Milk
1/2 kg fresh okra
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp tumeric powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tblspn oil
1/2 tsp dried chilli
1 heaped tsp Maldive fish chips
1 cup water
1 cup coconut cream
lime juice (to taste)
Wash the okra and cut in half.
Place oil in pan, add onion, tomato, Maldive fish chips, salt & chilli.
Stir until all ingredients are soft.
Mix in okra, and stir through to cover in spices. Add the water & coconut milk.
Cook gently until okra is tender (about 15mins).
Add a squeeze of lime juice and check for seasoning.
Serve with rice & curry.