Okra is a much maligned vegetable, which, badly cooked, falls into the same category as Brussel Sprouts. But cooked well, it is undeniably wonderful. It is the mucilaginous substance inside okra that gives the favourite okra dish of North America, Gumbo, its characteristic silky, gelatinous texture. It is an essential ingredient of Jambalaya, and a favourite of the Greek kitchen where it is served with fresh tomato and onion.
Okra also form the basis of many a good Indian curry, snack and side dish. In curries, they are often used whole, trimmed only of stalk, but keeping the conical top which is discarded at time of eating. The soft, slightly moist texture of the interior is part of its appeal.
These green-ribbed seed pods are a good supply of Vitamin A and C, calcium and iron. Eat them weekly! At the time of writing, we are conducting an #okracheck each month to track availability and price of okra in different cities.
Okra are slippery little suckers. But this recipe from the gorgeous beaches of Goa overcomes that problem by pre salting and then stuffing the okra with the Goan spicy mix called Rechad Masala. These are great little snacks or side dish to an Indian meal.
Enjoy okra? Try our Baked Okra with Gingery Tomato, Goa Fried Okra, Race Kuzhambu and Avial. Or have a look at other Goan recipes – Kidney Bean Feijoada, Potato and Sweet Potato Curry, and Sweet Surnoli Dosa.
Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. You might also like all of our Okra recipes here. Explore our Indian recipes here. Or take some time to go through our easy Early Autumn recipes here.
Ladyfingers Recheio | Okra Stuffed with Goan Chilli-Spice Paste
prep time: 2 hours to salt and drain the okra
cooking time: 10 mins
10 or more okra
Rechad Masala to stuff
a little ghee for frying
Slit the Okra through the middle to the top, but without splitting in two. Apply salt inside the slit. Set aside to drain for at least a couple of hours.
Make the Rechad Masala.
If the okra seem to be a little salty, rinse them briefly and drain.
Stuff each okra with a little of the rechad masala. The masala is warmly hot, so be judicious.
In a frying pan or wok, add a little ghee and fry the okra until cooked.
recipe notes and alternatives
Note that Okra can be cooked in this way without stuffing.