How to Cook Okra: 5 Easy Recipes

Do you love eating Okra? If the answer is ‘No’ then this article on How to Cook Okra? is a must-read for you. We are going to share some delicious Okra recipes1 that you will finally get rid of the question of ‘How to Cook Okra?’ In this article, we are going to share 5 simple Okra recipes which you will drool over it simply!

Preparing Okra as a side dish to a main course, we got it covered! Further in this article, we are going to share some tips for the kitchen which will be useful in making Okra. Also, did you know if you eat Okra, you will have good health benefits? Well, stay tuned for all such amazing facts about Okra. 2

1. How To Cook Okra

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Photo by Kodai Monma on Unsplash

Before sharing how to cook okra, let me share some interesting cooking facts about Okra.3

Did You Know? Okra can be consumed in various ways, such as fried okra, okra pickles, and stewed okra, roasted okra. You can eat okra as a side dish or as a main course meal. Accordingly, there are plenty of other okra recipes, but here we are going to share a few top-tasted, mouth-watering okra recipes. So, why wait for more? 

1.1. Fried Okra Recipe

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Photo by Sujeeth Potla on Unsplash

Fried Okra is a side dish that is consumed with rice or chapati. Preparing this fried okra dish is very simple. Check out this amazing okra recipe and the list of ingredients needed to cook fried okra. 

1.1.1. Ingredients For Fried Okra

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Photo by Quin Engle on Unsplash
  • Olive oil (oil preferences are as per the cook’s choice)
  • Tender and Raw okra
  • Spices of your choice (depending upon the choice of flavor)[it is optional]

1.1.2. Recipe For Fried Okra

Now let’s dig into how to cook fried okra. 

  1. To cook fried okra as a side dish, take fresh okra, wash the okra well, and proceed to the next step of how to cook okra fries.
  2. Cut the fresh okra into small pieces or slice them and then season it with salt and pepper as per taste.
  3. You can also add spices like chili/garam masala/tahini mix but remember it is optional.
  4. Now place the pan on the stovetop on medium-high heat and add a little olive oil or any other oil as per your choice.
  5. Now place okra into the pan and stir fry it, till it’s wholly done; you can also change the heat level as per your need to cook it slowly and evenly.
  6. Now your okra fries are ready to serve. You can serve the okra with fresh herbs like parsley or scallions, but it is perfectly optional.
  7. Now enjoy your fried okra the way you want. 

1.1.3. Serving Tip

Fried Okra is best served as a side dish with rice and chapati

1.2. Okra Pickles Recipe

How to Pickle Okra Best Recipe Ever !

Okra pickles went from the most loved to most hated food in a few generations yet okra lovers out there, you can try this okra pickle recipe.

Well, some people might feel okra in a pickle, ” YEW! How slimy it will be” Well, not in this case, the okra in the pickle4 does not taste anything like slimy instead it is crunchy sour, and very very nutritious. Now, let us learn how to cook okra pickles.

1.2.1. Ingredients For Okra Pickles

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Photo by Kody Dahl on Unsplash
  • Trimmed and fresh okra
  • Vinegar
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 4-5 baby bay leaves
  • Two teaspoons coriander seeds
  • Two teaspoons of the whole peppercorn
  • One teaspoon of sugar
  • Three teaspoons of salt
  • Chilli
  • Three garlic cloves
  • Fresh herbs (dill is more preferred here)
  • Fennel seeds (optional)

1.2.2. Recipe For Cooking Okra Pickle

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Photo by little plant on Unsplash

Step 1: Okra Preparation

Use fresh okra pods (preferably the baby pods) trim and wash them nicely. You can even use slightly roasted okra. 

Step 2: Spice Preparation for Okra

  • Add olive oil to a pan
  • Add 1-2 baby bay leaves
  • Add fennel seeds (optional)
  • Next, smash the peeled garlic
  • Add it along with chopped chili
  • Add a little bit of whole coriander and pepper
  • Add some fresh herbs if available
  • Cook till the aroma hits your nose
  • Once done remove it from the heat.

Step 3: Let us Start Making the Brine

  1. Take a separate pan, add whole grain black peppercorn and coriander seeds roast them until the coriander seed pops in the pan.
  2. Once the seed pops, add 1 1/4 cups white vinegar, bay leaves, salt, and sugar. Add less sugar if you want it less sweet, but if you prefer sweet, adjust the sugar as per your taste.

Step 4: Now the Final Step

Take a clean, washed jar, add the roasted okra/or just the raw okra add the spices into the jar, add the brine, and let it sit for a day or two days. Now your okra pickles are ready. This was one of the easiest okra recipes you will come across.

1.2.3. Serving Tip

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Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Serve it with fried sausage, you will simply love it! Okra pickles can also act as a side dish with your curry and chapati. 

1.3. Okra Soup/ Stewed Okra Recipe

Vendakka Soup / Okra Soup / Immunity Boosting Soup / Bhindi Soup

Have you ever heard of Okra Soups? No? But, once you try this recipe it will be one of your favorite foods! Also, if you share it with your mates, it can be a crowd-pleasing recipe too, so let’s jump into how to cook okra soup.

1.3.1. Ingredients For Okra Soup/ Stewed Okra

  • Frozen okra
  • Olive oil
  • Tomatoes
  • Green chilies
  • Onions
  • Lamb meat
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Fresh herbs like Cilantro or Culantro.5

1.3.2. Recipe For Cooking Okra Soup/Stewed Okra

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Photo by Aneta Pawlik on Unsplash
  1. Take frozen okra ( okra without planting the stem). Now deep fry the okra in olive oil (or any other preferred oil). Remember, the okra must be deep-fried as a whole. Do not chop the Okra.
  2. Next, take tomatoes and boil them after which try peeling them. This will be a lot easier.
  3. Take a large bowl, add tomatoes and a whole garlic paste, add salt and pepper,
  4. Take water in a pot, add lamb to a large bowl, and boil until the lamb is mushy.
  5. Add the lamb broth and pomegranate molasses to the bowl, place it in the gas oven on high heat, let it boil, turn the high heat to low heat, start cooking it for at least 15 minutes, and stir it continuously while cooking okra.
  6. Then add the lamb and okra, and mix them well. Now put it back into the oven and start cooking okra for another 15 minutes, till it absorbs all the flavor.

1.3.3. Serving Tips

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Photo by Lindsay Moe on Unsplash

Now you can eat it by topping it with diced onions or by seasoning it with cilantro/cilantro.

1.4. Okra Gumbo

Gumbo is a dish famous in the Southern United States, people there eat gumbo with great taste. Gumbo can also be made without okra, but let’s try making it with okra. Here we described how to cook okra Gumbo.

1.4.1. Ingredients For Okra Gumbo

  • Olive Oil (or any other preferred oil)
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Common vegetable
  • Spices
  • Jalapeno
  • Chicken thighs/shrimp
  • Canned tomatoes

1.4.2. Recipe For Cooking Okra Gumbo

🍤 Shrimp and Okra GUMBO!  No Roux Gumbo | Easy Shrimp Gumbo w/ Sausage No Roux Gumbo
  1. Use fresh okra for this recipe; slice up the okra into little bit big pieces,
  2. add a fair amount of butter/olive oil in a skillet, add your diced chicken thighs or shrimp, add seasoning/spices like chili powder/ Black-pepper Sea-salt, and cook it till the color changes.
  3. Add your diced onions and stir fry them and all the chopped common vegetables. Also, add 4-5 minced garlic cloves and stir them for some time more but do not burn the garlic. Remember always to reduce the heat.
  4. Now add the whole canned tomatoes and water to the cooking pot and add all the seasoning of your choice.
  5. Now add okra into the soup, stir it, and add the chopped jalapenos, now let the okra simmer for about an hour, and it will change color. This kind of cooked soup is called gumbo.
  6. You can also add a thin layer of rice to this soup; once the rice is cooked, your gumbo is ready to eat.
  7. Well, adding rice to the gumbo is optional. You might skip it if you want to, and also, you can add butter on the top for extra seasoning as per choice.

 

1.5. Roasted Okra

Roasted Okra is one of the finest homemade snack recipes which is healthy and tasty. You can serve roasted okra at a get-together party or for your children. 

Preparing roasted okra is very easy, you might like this roasted okra so much that this can be your regular snack.

1.5.1. Ingredients For Roasted Okra

For cooking Roasted okra, all you need is a preheated oven and okra

1.5.2. Recipe For Cooking Roasted Okra

How to Make Roasted Okra | Allrecipes.com
  • Cut the pods into strips removing the seed inside. (Note:- okra without the seeds are the main steps here for cooking roasted okra)
  • Season the okra with your favorite seasoning herbs and butter, then bake it until crispy.

1.5.3. Serving Tip

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Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

You can add this to a salad or enjoy this as a snack. Roasted okra can also be tried as a side with rice and daal. 

2. Which Okra to Choose

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Photo by Neha Deshmukh on Unsplash

Cooking okra has nothing to do with shapes. The variety of okra in the shop is due to consumers’ choices. There is frozen okra, slice okra, and medium-sized okra; this variety has nothing to do with the flavor. Therefore you can choose whatever okra you want to use.

3. Kitchen Tips While Cooking Okra Recipes

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Photo by anil kumar on Unsplash
  • Always buy/use tender okra pods; tender okra pods have much flavor compared to matured Okra.
  • Wash the okra pods well before cutting and cooking; otherwise, the hand and pan are slimy.
  • If you had cut okra before washing it, then after washing it, dry the okra with the help of paper towels as it will quickly absorb the slime liquid.
  • You can also use frozen okra to lessen the slime texture. Wash it and freeze the fresh okra in the freezer, slice it quickly, and cook instantly.

4. Can I Grow Okra At Home

How To Grow Okra/Lady Finger/Bhindi in Pot (With 100 Days Update)

Yes, one can grow okra at their home without much effort; ideally, grow it in spring.

  • You can grow Okra by following these simple steps:
  • All you need to do is prepare your piece of land as you do for other home gardens and do not forget to load it with Vermicompost.
  • Place the okra seed in the ground and water it regularly, once in the early morning and the evening. Do not let any pest grow in the place; handpicking pests is preferred for a home garden.
  • Then within a week, you have your okra plant peeping out of the soil.
  • It will grow into a healthy plant within eight weeks and start flowering and bearing the okra if taken care of.

5. Benefits Of Okra

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Photo by Mirko Sajkov on Unsplash
  • As Okra is also among green vegetables, the color already suggests how nutritious it will be.
  • Okra contains vitamin C, Potassium, Sodium, Carbohydrates, Folic acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and vitamin B; these vitamins and minerals are essential for day-to-day life.

5.1. A List of Nutrients Added – In Just a One Cup of Okra

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Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

According to a study done in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, the following is the list of ingredients available in one cup of raw okra (weighing 100 grams):

  • 33 calories
  • 1.9 g of protein
  • 0.2 g of fat
  • 7.5 g of carbohydrates
  • 3.2 g of fiber
  • 1.5 g of sugar
  • 31.3 milligrams (mg) of vitamin K
  • 299 mg of potassium
  • 7 mg of sodium
  • 23 mg of vitamin C
  • 0.2 mg of thiamin
  • 57 mg of magnesium
  • 82 mg of calcium
  • 0.215 mg of vitamin B6
  • 60 micrograms (mcg) of folate
  • 36 mcg of vitamin A

5.2. Okra Treating Severe Health Problems

A rich diet consisting of fruits and vegetables is often prescribed by doctors to a person ongoing with severe health issues. Okra is a must to present in that diet!

Okra helps in removing toxins from our bodies. The nutrients present in Okra are very much helpful in treating and preventing health problems.

Let us check some of the health problems prevented and treated by the consumption of Okra:

5.2.1. Okra Can Cure Cancer

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Photo by Angiola Harry on Unsplash

Okra, contain lectin, which is a type of protein this is very much beneficial in treating fatal diseases like Cancer. In a study conducted in 2014, researchers used lectin from okra to treat breast cancer cells. 

This treatment assisted by Okra reduced the cancer cell growth by 63% and killed those cells by 72% in the human body. Okra is rich in folate. Folate is said to have treatment effects to cure breast cancer.  Low folate intake can risk other ranges of cancer like cervical, pancreatic, and lung. 

Thus, it is recommended to consume Okra. The lectin and folate present within will help prevent and cure cancer. 

5.2.2. Okra Is Beneficial In Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

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Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

Folate present in Okra helps in preventing problems during pregnancy. Low intake of folate in food can lead to pregnancy loss and health defects in the newborn child, like spina bifida. 

The 2015-2020, Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggested an intake of 400mcg of folate will be beneficial for pregnant women. Thus, doctors generally advise women to take more and more folate during pregnancy and breastfeeding. 

5.2.3. Okra Curing Diabetes

Researchers made a powder from the peel and seeds of okra, which after being tested on rats with diabetes, it turned out successful. After a month, the rats had a low level of blood sugar.  

There were other rodent studies done which proved the potential of Okra to work as an antidiabetic agent. Other tests were also conducted to check if Okra served as a nutraceutical, this is a food with medicinal properties.

5.2.4. Okra Helps in Osteoporosis

Vitamin K is helpful in bone formation and blood clotting. Thus, intaking Vitamin K in your diet will strengthen your bones and also prevent fractures. Okra is one such Vitamin K-rich vegetable which is a very good supplement for calcium to the bones. 

5.2.5. Okra Keeps The Gastrointestinal System Healthy

Asian medicine prescribes adding Okra to foods to protect themselves against gastric irritation and inflammatory diseases. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action will help in fighting gastrointestinal problems.

5.2.6.Okra – A Pro-Tip For Women

  • By leaving sliced okra in a freshwater bottle and letting it infuse overnight, this overnight-infused water consumption can increase vaginal lubrication6 and ease vaginal dryness and soreness during sexual intercourse.
  • Also, Okra contains a lot of Oestrogen and Progesterone, which is beneficial for the female body, and its consumption increases female fertility.

6. Drawbacks Of Consuming Excess Okra 

6.1. Too Much Okra can lead to Kidney Stones

Okra is rich in oxalate, the common type of kidney stone consists of calcium oxalate. Thus consuming too much Okra can increase the risk of kidney stones7

6.2. Too Much Okra can lead to Inflammation

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In Okra there is a toxic compound known as Solanine. This compound leads to joint pain, arthritis, and other inflammation in some people. So avoid consuming too much Okra to save yourself from inflammation. 

6.3. Too Much Okra can lead to a Stroke

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Photo by Michel E on Unsplash

As we already know, Okra helps in blood clotting, but people who consume blood-thinning drugs can be affected by the consumption of Okra. Blood thinning drugs prevent the formation of blood clots which can lead to stroke or heart attack. Thus, people who intake blood-thinning drugs must level their consumption of Okra.

7. Fun Facts On Okra

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Photo by Sandip Kalal on Unsplash
  • Okra originated/ found from Southern Asia – West African region, known as Lady’s finger, Ochro, etc., and is now consumed worldwide.
  • Okra is mainly available in the summer.
  • Okra is formed from a flowering tree of the mallow family. It is mainly cultivated in the warmer season, like spring. It takes 6-8 weeks or can grow even faster depending on care, nutrition, regular water grooming, etc.
  • The Okra tree can grow up to 1 to 2 feet in height. And it is green in color, and it is slim inside.
  • The Okra slime helps in digestion and has many other health benefits.
  • Okra tastes better when it is tender; upon maturing, it loses its edible feature a bit regarding taste and becomes grassy.
  • This green veggie used to be one of the popular veggies earlier, but the opinion for this one has changed within a few decades.
  • Okra pods are among the most hated veggie of this generation, and also, according to a few search reports, it has secured the no. 6 position for receiving this much dislike.

8. Conclusion

In our busy schedule, a simple recipe works well! So, why not try out these easy recipes on Okra and yet consume healthy and delicious food? Okra’s health benefits are maximum, but also limit your intake to avoid serious health issues. 

We have covered the making of Okra in the form of a side dish and a main meal course. Thus, after reading this article, the readers will not only know how to cook okra but also know 5 amazing recipes to cook okra.

FAQs

1. What is Okra rich in?

A. Okra is rich in vitamins A and C. This helps to reduce serious health diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Okra is also a good source of folate and magnesium which helps the body to get the right amount of nutrition. 

2. What will happen to my body if I eat Okra?

A. With the consumption of Okra, your immunity system will boost. Okra helps in the growth of good bacteria in our digestion system, which helps the body by protecting it from various infections, thus promoting body immunity. 

3. Can I eat raw Okra?

A. Yes, you can eat raw Okra. Less-cooked Okra is rich in folates and other nutrients and thus they are beneficial for your health. You can slice out the Okra into small pieces, and lightly saute it to decrease the green taste. In this way, you can eat raw Okra. 

Read more

  1. Smith, Chris. The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019. ↩︎
  2. Hayamanesh, Shahnoosh. The effect of high temperature on physiological and metabolic parameters and reproductive tissues of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench). Diss. 2018. ↩︎
  3. Dantas, Thamires Lacerda, Flávia Carolina Alonso Buriti, and Eliane Rolim Florentino. “Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) as a potential functional food source of mucilage and bioactive compounds with technological applications and health benefits.” Plants 10.8 (2021): 1683. ↩︎
  4. Hosain, M. M., et al. “Processing and preservation of okra pickle.” Progressive Agriculture 21.1-2 (2010): 215-222. ↩︎
  5. Ramcharan, Christopher. “Culantro: A much utilized, little understood herb.” Perspectives on new crops and new uses (1999): 506-509. ↩︎
  6. Levin, Roy J. “The ins and outs of vaginal lubrication.” Sexual and Relationship Therapy 18.4 (2003): 509-513. ↩︎
  7. Taylor, Eric N., Meir J. Stampfer, and Gary C. Curhan. “Obesity, weight gain, and the risk of kidney stones.” Jama 293.4 (2005): 455-462. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf

Author

Snehareema Roy
  1. Okra or ladyfinger is my favorite vegetable. But I didn’t knew that we can make various types of okra recipes. I would love to try your suggested recipes.

  2. I’ve been looking for new ways to cook okra. These recipes seem very interesting and I’m definitely going to try them out the next time I make okra.

  3. I love Okra or Ladies Finger. I live to have them fried, I didn’t have an idea that we can make pickle or stew out of them so I would love to try them. Okra is tasty veggie with a lot of health benefits and everyone should have them.

  4. So many benefits from just one okra, and I used to frown whenever I saw okra on the menu. I feel like trying all of your recipes to overcome my previous resistance to eating okra due to ignorance. The best part is that it boosts the immune system and heals diabetes.

  5. The comprehensive nature of this okra cooking guide, with its detailed recipes, serving tips, and nutritional information, ensures that it caters to a wide audience. The additional sections on selecting the right okra and highlighting its health benefits contribute to making this article an informative and enjoyable read for those interested in culinary adventures and well-being

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