Middle-Eastern cooks: what is dried okra used for? ?? ?

I was in an Arab Delicatessen of Montreal last night, and noticed some very costly items: bags of tiny, dried okra.

I would have asked the untalkative young gentleman at the till what these were used for, but was not given the needed time.

Do you sprinkle them on rice -or on your wife's pillow?

What is the story of dried baby okra??

3 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    The okra are dried threaded on a string. A popular vegetable in the Agean, Mediterranean and Western Black Sea Regions. It is served as the main dish at lunch or diner. Rice-hoshaf, rice-cacık combinations are appropriate accompanying dishes. While cooking the okra lemon juice can be substituted with lemon sliced into half moons.

    It's quite popular in Turkey, Crete, Lebanon, Armenia....

    It can be fresh, frozen or dried, cans.

    Drying the okra concentrates its unique flavor.

    0kra (Hibiscus esculentus) is also called "gumbo" in Africa. It is said to have originated in the Abyssinian center of origin of cultivated plants, an area that includes present-day Ethiopia, the mountainous or plateau portion of Eritrea, and the eastern, higher part of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. At some point in time okra was introduced to North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, Arabia, and India.

    When ripe the seeds yield an edible oil that is the equal of many other cooking oils.

    The ripe seeds of okra are sometimes roasted and ground as a substitute for coffee.

    In Turkey, the leaves are used in preparing a medicament to soothe or reduce inflammation.

    There are so many recipes for these pods...... :) like:

    -- Armenian Okra and Meat in Tangy Tomato Sauce

    -- Fish Baked with Dried Okra (very popular on Crete)

    -- Okra With Tomato Sauce

    -- Syrian-Style Okra with Dried Fruit

    -- Vegetarian Gumbo

    -- Okra Yogurt Salad

    -- Spicy Pickled Okra

    -- Fried Okra and Potatoes

    -- Texas Fried Okra

    -- Grilled Okra , with olive oil and cajun seasoning

    -- Whole Okra with Onions (popular N-Indian recipe..)

    -- Spicy Baby Okra and Olives

    -- Coconut rice with sambal and okra (!! very good and spicy, kind of like Malaysian food - nasi lemak)



    Coconut rice with sambal and okra :

    (seves 4)

    600g okra

    2 tbsp crispy fried shallots (from oriental grocers, or dry onion flakes)

    1 big handful coriander, chopped

    2 limes, halved

    For the sambal

    5 fresh red chillies (30g), deseeded

    5 dried red chillies (4g), deseeded

    20 red baby shallots (100g), peeled

    1 clove garlic, peeled

    ½ tsp salt

    130ml vegetable oil

    1 tbsp caster sugar

    1 tbsp thick tamarind water (seedless tamarind paste whisked with a little water and strained)

    For the rice

    325g basmati rice

    ½ tsp salt

    175ml coconut milk

    350ml water

    6 kaffir lime leaves (optional)

    6 thin slices ginger

    Start with the sambal. Put the chillies, shallots, garlic and salt in a food processor, add two tablespoons each of oil and water, and process for a minute, until you have a fine paste (or do this with a pestle and mortar, in which case add the liquids after you have a paste). Put a wok or large, heavy frying pan on a high heat. Add the remaining oil and, when hot, add the paste and stir. Reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes, until it's dark red and oily. Off the heat, stir in the sugar and tamarind water, and set aside.

    Wash the rice in cold water, drain and put in a medium pan. Heat the rice a little, then add the salt, coconut milk, water, lime leaves and ginger. Stir, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to minimum. Cover, simmer for 12 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave covered for another 10 minutes.

    While the rice is cooking, bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Add the okra and cook for two to three minutes only. Drain, refresh under cold water and leave to dry.

    Gently reheat the sambal, then stir in the okra to warm it up (don't cook it any longer). Fluff the rice with a fork, and spoon into bowls. Top with okra and sauce, and sprinkle over fried shallots and coriander. Put half a lime with each serving, for squeezing over.


    Enjoy! ;) ... this knowledge...:)

  • M.H.
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Here is a turkish stew using dried okra:

    Etli Kuru Bamya (Dried Okra Stew with Meat)

    125 grams Dry okra

    ½ teaspoons Black pepper

    5 cups Water

    250 grams Meat cubes

    2 large size Onion

    1 tablespoon Tomato paste

    3 tablespoons Margarine

    2 teaspoons Salt

    2 tablespoons Lemon juice

    Rub the ocra in a cloth and remove the thorns, wash. Put 4 cups of water in a saucepan, bring to boil and add the okra. Boil the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat . Place the meat in another saucepan and cook over low heat until all the juice is reduced. Peel and wash the onions, chop them into 2-3 mm thick half moons. Add the onions, tomato paste, margarine, salt and the remining water (hot) to the meat, stir and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the okra and its cooking liquid. Add the lemon juice and the black pepper and cook for about 30 minutes until the okra becomes tender.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago


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