When people think of okra (also known as “ladies’ fingers”), they often think of a slimy, difficult-to-eat vegetable and so tend to avoid it. While okra is somewhat slimy in texture, those that know how to properly prepare okra think of it as a vegetable that is to be celebrated and enjoyed.
And I have found my way of handling & cooking okra easiest way…no more stirring sticky okra! Yes, I just cut, bake and season! Requires very less oil, no more messy pans, no headache of stirring and the most of all, taste amazing, just like pan cooked okra.
Okra is our family favorite and my elder son loves it so much that he can have almost everyday. So I cook okra in bulk and refrigerate for up to a week and when needed I can prepare quick Roti Roll for my son or serve with Rice Dal.
Many chefs choose not to explore the complexity of okra simply from a bad experience, or maybe by tainted word of mouth. When you learn how to prepare okra, however, your conception of the wonderful vegetable changes completely. In this article, you will learn how to prepare okra.
You can buy okra from many fruit and vegetable suppliers. Make sure that the okra is fresh.
While it may be difficult to harvest your own okra , it is possible and proves inexpensive.
Choose okra that is evenly green and about 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long. Too large and the okra will have a flat taste, and may be too tough to eat. Too small, and the okra will be difficult to cook.
Avoid okra that look shriveled or are soft when squeezed.
The okra should snap rather than bend. So When I buy from supermarket, I test them by their tip, if I can snap tip easily, it goes in my bag! Kind of cheating but I don’t want to spend my money for the okras that I won’t be able to cook properly.
Wash Okra well and pat dry. Cut into slices or lengthwise.
Now, you must have question, can okra be cut ahead of time. I occasionally do cut okra in advance but cutting okra in advance is not suggested, as it can get messy and slightly ooze. It is suggested you cut it as close to the time you’ll be using it. However, if you are tight on schedule, cut okra ahead of time, cover with cheese cloth and cook within few hours.
Okra can be frozen, but it must be blanched before it is sliced. Once blanched and sliced, store in freezer bags for up to a year.
There are different ways to prepare okra depending on how it is being cooked. In this post, I am going to share how I bake Okra in the oven easily without any stress.
Step 1: Preheat oven at 425F. Grease baking tray with Oil.
Step 2: Spread Cut okra as even as possible onto the greased tray.
Step 3: Add salt to taste, drizzle oil depending on the quantity, for 1lb okra 1tbsp would be enough, squeeze 1/2 tbsp lemon or lime juice. Acid helps to reduce stickiness. Mix well.
Step 3: Pop the tray into the oven and bake for about 15-18 minutes, depending on the texture you like, soft or crisp.
Step 4: After about 15 minutes, remove okra from the oven and season to your liking. I season with Red chili powder, Coriander Cumin powder, Turmeric and Asafoetida.
Watch the video below for the step by step instructions.