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Name Variations Edit
- Lady's fingers
About Okra Edit
Wikipedia Article About Okra on Wikipedia
The green okra pods have a ridged skin and a tapered, oblong shape. Although available fresh year-round in the South, the season for the rest of the country is from about May through October. When buying fresh okra look for firm, brightly colored pods under 4 inches long. Larger pods may be tough and fibrous. Avoid those that are dull in color, limp or blemished. Refrigerate okra in a plastic bag for up to 3 days. Canned and frozen okra is also available.
Okra, also called lady's finger in Indian cuisine, is a flowering plant in the mallow family Malvaceae, originating somewhere near present-day Ethiopia. It was formerly considered a species of Hibiscus, but is now classified in the genus Abelmoschus. The word okra is of African origin and means "lady's fingers" in Igbo, a language spoken in what is now known as Nigeria.
It is an annual or perennial herbaceous plant, growing to 2 m tall. The leaves are 10-20 cm long and broad, palmately lobed with 5-7 lobes. The flowers are 4-8 cm diameter, with five white to yellow petals, often with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal. The fruit is a capsule, 5-20 cm long, containing numerous seeds.
- This Creole specialty is a mainstay of New Orleans cuisine. It's a thick, stewlike dish that can have any of many ingredients, including vegetables such as okra, tomatoes and onions, and one or several meats or shellfish such as chicken, sausage, hala shrimp, crab or oysters. The one thing all good gumbos begin with is a dark Roux, which adds an unmistakable, incomparably rich flavor. Okra serves to thicken the mixture, as does File Powder, which must be stiffed in just before serving after the pot is off the fire.
- The West African word for Okra, American derivative of any stew using okra is called a gumbo.