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July 04, 2020 - Forks over Knives

Ingredient IQ: Okra

Ingredient IQ: Okra
Okra, whole and slicedFile Photo / © Photabulous!

Okra was introduced to North America by enslaved people brought over from West Africa in the 17th century. Ever since, it has been a mainstay in traditional Southern cooking, where it’s simmered into stews such as gumbo (the term “gumbo” comes from the West African word for okra), pickled like cucumbers, or breaded and fried.

Okra is also used frequently in African, Mediterranean, South American, Southeast Asian, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines. Bhindi masala, a dish made with okra and tomatoes, is a popular dish you can find in most Indian restaurants.

What Is Okra? Good question! In the vegetable world, okra is unique. The edible seed pods are the fruit of a flowering plant that’s a member of the mallow family, which also includes hibiscus and hollyhocks but no other garden vegetables.

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