Food, Cooking

Spicy Cheese Filled Okra with an Extra Bite


I have grown up eating it, so naturally I love it. There was a time when I was also one among the haters of it. Whenever it was part of our lunch or supper (mostly in summers), my mother used to cook something else of my choice to fill my tummy.

Okra, also known as “lady finger” or “gumbo”, is a highly nutritious green edible pod vegetable. This is one of the widely used vegetable in tropical countries.

It is cooked in variety of ways for a better taste as it has a neutral flavor. Here I am going to share with you two of my favorite recipes. Hope it can turn the haters into lovers of it as happened in my case.

Ingredients:

Okra:  250 gms

Cheese (for filling): Of your choice

Cooking Oil: 2 cups

Butter (If preferred): 2 Tsps

*Lemon Juice/Vinegar:  1Tsp

*Chili Powder/Black Pepper/Chili Flakes: 1 Tsp

*Salt: 1/2 Tsp

*Coriander Powder: 1/2 tsp

Tsp = Table Spoon, tsp = Tea Spoon

Preparation:

Wash Okra in cold water. Wash it well enough to remove the insecticides if any. Keep it in a strainer to dry. Meanwhile, mix the other ingredients as mentioned above*. Add fresh lemon juice (personally recommended) or vinegar enough to make a thick paste. Keep it aside. With a sharp pointed knife make a long vertical cut on each okra for the filling. Fill in the cheese (in small amounts) or the chili paste (you can also fill in both) – I know it’s a bit crafty task. Now refrigerate the stuffed okra for an hour.

You can either deep fry the spice and cheese filled okra or cook it on a low heat with little amount of butter/oil. In both of the methods don’t forget to cover the pan.  Toss once or twice in between.

Take out on a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.

Remember that deep frying will take less time i.e. 5 minutes while cooking on low heat with little oil/butter will take longer i.e. 8-10 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Extra Bite:

One egg

¼ Cup flour

2 Tsps Corn Starch

Beat an egg. Add in the same ingredients* (used to form the paste). Add the okra (preferably fresh small pods). Toss to coat them well. Add in flour and corn starch. Toss again to coat them well. Heat the cooking oil. Add okra in batches.

Remember, oil should be well heated to deep fry the okra. Fry them until the coating is golden brown.

Take out on a kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.

Preparation time: 15 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Serves 2 persons

~        Ingredients’ amount will be doubled for double of the above servings.

Serving Methods:

Here are some serving tips:

  • It can be served with bread (khubz, phulka), paratha or boiled rice.
  • You can also enjoy it with pickle or olives to add more spice to it.

Okra Nutritional Facts:

  • Very low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol
  • Contains healthy amounts of Vitamins A, C and K
  • Fresh pods are good source of Folates.
  • Good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium
  • Relieves constipation condition

Note:

Always look for crispy, immature pods and avoid those with over-ripen, sunken appearance, discolored spots, cuts and too soft.

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