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August 13th  2011    Tim Candler

    Some call them Bhindi, some call them Ladies Fingers, some call them Okra, some call them Gumbo.  Their name Gumbo comes from West Africa.  Their name Okra comes from the Nigerian part of West Africa.  Their name Ladies Fingers comes from Thailand.  And their name Bhindi comes from India.

    They are Mallows, as Hibiscus are, and some say they originate from the Nile.  Others say they originate from the Philippines, because that's where their ancestors are native.  They can grow six to ten foot tall, and they can do this in a matter of months.

      Bhindi Bhaji, is Bhindi sautéed with red pepper, garlic, cumin and turmeric.  Fried Okra is dipped in batter then fried in butter or bacon fat.  Gumbo is a soup that should have at least one crustacean  in it.  The frugal grind the seeds of those Okra gone woody and make something like coffee. I put Okra in cold water and when cold water boils they are ready to eat.  Cooked in this dull way there is less clearing up and it justifies dreaming of ice cream or baked potato and mayonnaise.

     Okra enjoy the hottest sun and I am told that if you pinch out their tips when they are young you'll not be able to use the ladder excuse to stop harvesting them.

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