Okra is a very healthy vegetable. It is also known as "lady finger" or "gumbo." It is a highly nutritious pod vegetable that is grown in the tropical and warm regions of the world. The plant bears many dark green pods 2-6 inches in length. It is used a lot in Southern cooking here in the United States and in India it is also very popular, as in this recipe for Okra Sabji.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
|1||Lb.||Okra, washed, dried & cut|
|Salt to taste|
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil on low.
- Add the okra and stir fry for couple of minutes.
- Add the spices and sauté for 2-3 minutes, untill the color changes.
- When finished, pour into a bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes.
- If you wish, add dry mango powder or lemon juice for taste.
- It is great with rice and tortillas or naan.
Serving Size is for 1/5 of recipe.
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Health benefits of Okra
- Very low in calories, provides just 30 cal per 100 g and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is a rich source of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins; recommended in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
- The rich fiber and mucilaginous content in Okra pods helps smooth peristalsis of digested food particles and relieve constipation condition.
- The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta carotenes, xanthin and lutein. It is one of the green vegetable with highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Fresh pods are good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring.
- The pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C; provides about 36% of daily recommended levels. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protects body from harmful free radicals.
- The veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K. Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
- The pods are also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.