So it seems like I blink and okra season is over, but while it is here you better believe I savor it!! There are many ways to enjoy this vibrant veggie, but this recipe is one of my favorites. It is simple with only five easy steps; it is quick with a 10-minute cooking time; and best of all it is absolutely oh-mazingly delicious! If you have not explored all okra has to offer, now is the time and this recipe is a great place to start!
Okra is generally in season between June and November when you can often find it fresh at your local farmer’s market or health food grocery store. If you cannot find fresh okra in your area, buying high-quality organic frozen okra is the next best option and can be used in this recipe as well. But of course, when possible, fresh is always best (for taste and nutrition)!
Okra, known as bhindi in Ayurveda, is balancing for both Vata and Pitta dosha and suitable for Kapha in moderation. Its cooling and demulcent property (meaning its sliminess), makes it very soothing for the GI tract and is generally beneficial in inflammatory GI conditions such as gastritis and leaky gut. Due to its lubricating quality and high fiber content, okra promotes healthy elimination, alleviates constipation, and supports a healthy microbiome. If this isn’t enough, okra is great for strengthening the bones, lubricating the joints, and supporting healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Health Benefits of Okra
- High in vitamins A, B6, C, and K
- A good source of calcium and magnesium
- High in soluble fiber (which is essential for a healthy microbiome!)
- High in antioxidants including polyphenols
- Supports heart health
- Supports lung health
- Supports bone, joint, hair, skin, nail, and eye health
- Supports healthy digestion and elimination
- Supports blood sugar balance
- Supports healthy weight loss and weight management
- Contains anti-cancer properties
- Soothes inflammatory urinary conditions such as UTI and cystitis
- Strengthens reproductive organs and promotes healthy libido
- Enhances lactation
- Supports mom and baby during pregnancy and postpartum
If you are new to eating okra, you may not know HOW to incorporate it into your diet. This recipe makes a great side dish for many meals such as dal, rice, quinoa, legumes, chicken, or fish. It can be equally as satisfying on its own as a nutritious and delicious snack or as a light dinner (super yummy with flatbread!). One of my favorite ways to enjoy this particular recipe is to sauté the okra and at the end add in a little broth, quinoa or brown rice, cooked black-eyed peas, and a tad bit more salt and spices. This meal always sustains my appetite and energy for hours to come!
So get your skillets ready and let’s GO!
Oh-Mazing Okra and Garlic Sauté
- 1 lb fresh okra (substitute with frozen)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon brown mustard seeds, whole (optional but recommended)
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, whole (optional but recommended)
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (use 1 for Pitta)
- 1 teaspoon Agni Churna*
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt or mineral salt
1. If using fresh okra, wash and cut off the tops and tips, then discard them in the compost.
2. Chop the okra in 1/2” to 1” chunks. If using frozen okra simply open the bag (no need to thaw).
3. Heat your skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil until warm. Then add in the brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds, minced ginger, and minced garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
4. Add in the Agni Churna, black pepper, and salt; sauté for an additional minute stirring frequently.
5. Add in the chopped okra and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so. The final result should be crisp and tender okra (but not fibrous or hard) that may be slightly golden brown but not burnt.
6. Enjoy as a healthy snack, a delicious side dish, or a light dinner. It can also be added to beans and rice, kitchari, dal, or similar meal.
STORAGE AND REHEATING TIPS
- Store any extra in an airtight glass Tupperware and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To reheat, heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until they are warm all the way through.