Whether one calls it okro or okra, the name is still the same. It is equally known as ladies’ finger, kidney vetch or gumbo. Okro is native to Africa, but it is cultivated widely, however, extensively in the Southern United States and West Indies. Infact, virtually all African countries also cultivate and enjoy okro.
Classified as hibiscus escenlentus or abelmoschus esculentus, okro is a yearly plant of the mallow family that is cultivated for its edible pods. It can be comfortably called a green vegetable, because of its green attractive colour.
Okro contains a large amount of mucilage – a gelatinous substance that makes it useful as a thickener.
Okro is also rich in iron and is very ideal for pregnant women as it helps to build healthy blood supply to the body of the woman and her unborn baby.
This long ladies finger is equally good for children from six months and above. Due to its slimy nature, children find it easy to swallow any soup prepared with it and there’s hardly any child that abhors okro soup.
Kidney vetch is used mostly as a thickener for soups and stews. It can as well be cooked as a vegetable, and used as ingredients in various stews. It can also be sautéed, pickled, fried or steamed.
Okro is usually sold in abundance and at affordable price during rainy seasons. All you need do is buy as much and prepare any of these delicacies. Mind you, it must be fresh.
How do I know the fresh one? You may ask! Once you pick up your okro, break off the tip, if it cuts off immediately, it means its very fresh! If the tip is strong and unbreakable, it means its not very fresh.
Nutritional Value of Okro
- It stabilizes blood sugar
- It prevents and improves constipation
- It neutralizes acid
- It prevents diabetes
- It helps lubricates the large intestines , this is owing to its bulk laxative qualities
- It helps to maintain a smooth and beautiful skin and even help prevent pimples
- It’s a good anti oxidant for the body
- Okro juice can be used to treat sore throat associated with coughing
- The juice can also be used to treat diarrhea with fever and some abdominal related pains
- Infact the list is endless!
Here are some okro delicacies you will like to relish, some of them have been used before but since they come under okro, they had to be used in this segment! Enjoy them!
The soup is a combination of ewedu leaves and okro. The end product is a powerful draw soup that slides down the throat as a good Nigerian soup! The unique feature of this soup is the fact that no OIL is required, just salt is enough!
Recipe for 4 Serving
- 1 medium sized bunch of African Spinach or Crain Crain
- (also called yoyo locally or ewedu)
- 2 cups of fresh okro (grated)
- 2 wraps of dampened melon locally called eragiri or ogiri or iru
- 2 smoked fish
- 4 pieces of fresh red pepper (blended chilli locally called shombo)
- Little palm oil
- Only salt to taste, no seasoning required
Remove the Ewedu from the stalks and shred to ringlets and wash. Place some water on the fire, allow to boil for three minutes before pouring in the grated okro. Cook for about two minutes before pouring in the washed shredded Ewedu leaves. Simmer for a minute and add the eragiri, blended pepper, smoked fish and then salt to taste. Cook for 60 seconds before finally adding little palm oil. Cover and simmer for few seconds, remove from the heat and serve with pounded yam or the cassava powder locally called pupuru.
OKRO SOUP [ILA ASEPO]
- Recipe for 5 servings:
- 2 cups fresh okro (grated)
- 4 pieces fresh red pepper (blended)
- 2 tablespoons crayfish
- 1 kilogram shaki
- 1 kilogram beef
- 2 smoked fish
- Salt and seasoning to taste
- 1 cooking spoon palm oil
…ILA ASEPO BEING PREPARED IN THE KITCHEN!
Wash and cook the meat until tender. Add the fish and crayfish. Add the pepper and palm oil. Stir and cook until the palm oil is lighter in colour. Add the okro and other seasonings. Simmer for few minutes uncover and serve with a plate of eba, semovita or any swallow.