Lady finger is also known as okra, bhindi, bamia, or gumbo. It belongs to the mallow family. Lady finger is used in a variety of cuisines.The taste is mild, but it has a unique texture with peach-like fuzz on the outside and small, edible seeds on the inside of the pod.It contains a characteristic viscous juice that can be used to thicken sauces. Lady finger is popular in the southern United States (U.S.), parts of Africa and the Middle East, the Caribbean, and South America.
Okra contains lots of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber. It is low in calories and has many health benefits.
Bhindi helps in Weight Loss
Bhindi is low in calories and high in fiber which helps you feel full for longer and helps in weight loss.
Bhindi helps in Heart disease
Okra contains soluble fiber pectin. Pectin helps in lowering bad cholesterol as well as prevents atherosclerosis. Lady Finger helps in the elimination of deposited cholesterol and clots.
Lady finger Controls blood sugar levels
Lady finger contains fiber which controls blood sugar levels.
Lady finger Improves digestion
Lady finger helps in better digestion and regularization of bowels.
Lady Finger helps in Conception and pregnancy:
Lady finger (Bhindi) is an absolutely essential food for ladies who are trying to conceive. Okra contains folic acid/folate. Folate not only helps in conceiving but also helps in the development of the fetus. Bhindi also helps in the prevention of miscarriage. Folate helps in the formation of neural tubes of the fetus.
Bhindi Improves immunity
Lady finger Vitamin C which helps in improving immunity.
Ladyfinger contains iron and folate and Vitamin K. These nutrients help in treating and avoiding anemia.
Lady Finger helps in Prevention of colon cancer
Lady finger helps in the prevention of colon cancer. It keeps the digestive system intact as well as helps in functioning properly.
Bhindi Improves eyesight
The Vitamin A and beta carotene present in lady finger may be helpful in improving eyesight.
Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Okra may also help lower cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of heart related problems.
Lady finger contains folate and lectin which reduces the risk of various cancer like breast, cervical, pancreatic, lung, and other cancers.
Lady finger reduces the risk of diabetes.
Lady finger contains vitamin K which reduces the risk of osteoporosis and maintains bone health.
Lady finger promotes healthy digestive system and protects against gastrointestinal problems.
Lady finger can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with every food.
Uses of lady finger
Bhindi helps in Treatment of dandruff and lice
Okra is used as a home remedy for dandruff and lice. Cut okra horizontally and boil in water, add lemon to this water and use this water for rinsing hair.
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Cut off the ends of 4 or 5 okra and prick the body using a fork. Instead of pricking, you can also slit halfway.
Soak the pricked okra in a glass of water overnight.
The next morning, remove the okra and drink the water on an empty stomach.
Do this daily to maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Wash 1 cup of fresh okra and cut them into small pieces.
Boil the pieces in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes or until the water is reduced by half.
Strain, divide it into 3 parts, and add drink it 3 times a day until you notice an improvement in your condition.
Promotes a Healthy Pregnancy
Include okra in your diet during pregnancy, especially during the 4th and 12th weeks when the neural tube develops in the fetus.
Makes Your Hair Soft and Shiny
Put 8 to 10 horizontally cut okra in a pot with 1 cup of water.
Allow it to simmer on low heat until you get a sticky texture.
Remove it from the heat, add a few drops of lavender or mint oil, and allow the concoction to cool.
Filter the mixture using a muslin cloth, and store the filtered content in a bottle.
After washing your hair, apply this homemade conditioner.
Wait for 5 minutes, and then rinse your hair thoroughly with water.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Boil 2 cups of chopped okra in about 2 cups of water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside for 10 minutes.
Remove the okra pods, and mash them with a little jojoba oil or any carrier oil to make a paste.
Apply it to your face and neck.
Allow it to sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with water.
Use this face mask once or twice a week.
How to buy and store lady finger
Buy okra when it is firm and keep it dry and make sure that they are firm to the touch and avoid pods that are shriveled or soft. Store for no more than 3 to 4 days in paper or plastic in a crisper drawer.
Ways to use lady finger
Lady finger are cooked, pickled, eaten raw, or included in salads.
Season in which lady finger is available
Lady finger is available in the month of may and June.
How to make Jodhpuri Crispy Bhindi
¼ kg lady finger
1 piece ginger
½ tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
¼ tablespoon turmeric powder
Make elongated thin slits on the lady fingers and put them in a bowl. Now add chilli powder, sesame seeds, gram flour and mix them well, along with few sprinkles of water.
Deep fry the coated bhindi and serve hot.
How to make lady finger fry
Vendakkai – 20 nos
Onion -1 medium spiced
Sambar powder-1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Split Urad dal – 1 tsp
Sesame oil – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Hing – a generous pinch
Wash and pat dry the okras really well. There should be no water otherwise the poriyal turns more sticky while frying. Then cut it to desired size and keep aside.Finely chop onions and keep it ready.
Heat a kadai with oil and add the items to temper in order.Once the mustard seeds cracks and urad dal turns golden brown, add hing and curry leaves.Add onions now and nicely fry till it becomes transparent.
Once onions turns brown, Add chopped ladies finger and mix well. Then add sambar powder & salt. Mix them for a minute.Keep the flame low.
Fry the ladies finger in low flame and now it will start to stick into the pan and add more oil to reduce the stickiness.Keep fry them in low flame until the ladies finger is well cooked. It may take 20 minutes. Once done, switch off the flame.
Eating excess of lady finger can cause some side effects.
Individuals who are taking blood thinners, should take advice of doctor before consuming okra as they are high in vitamin K.
Fun facts about lady finger
- Lady’s fingers is another name for okra. This name only dates back to the early 20th century, and originally applied to a small variety of okra.
- The kidney vetch, with small thin flowers said to resemble a small hand, originally held claim to the name ‘lady’s fingers’ (17th century), but in the late 19th century the name was also applied to varieties of potatoes, apples, bananas and grapes. Most have gone by the wayside, but the ‘lady’s fingers’ name is still associated with okra, and of course, ladyfingers as applied to a small finger shaped sponge cake.