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Saturday, 22 March 2014

Bamia


I went to gardening shop today to check out a new display of seeds and, to my great surprise, I sow sachets of ocra seeds. I bought one sachet and sowed two dozens of seeds in module trays. I'm always quite excited to try something new and cannot wait to see how it looks like 'live'. I mean. I sow it only on the pictures.

Image credit: www.greenhousebed.com

In Croatia we call this plant bamia, and is also known as ocra. It is not so popular as in the neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it can be bought on the markets. It is probably brought up here by Turks during their 400 years long conquest of Europe. 
Bamia, Abelmoschus esculentus (syn. Hybiscus esculentus), is actually a very interesting plant. The flowers are quite pretty. Many of their 'cousins' from the family Malvaceae (the Mallows) are grown as ornamentals in out homes and gardens.
What I know about ocra is is that the edible pods contain mucus and are used to prepare various dishes. So, the next months I would be browsing Caribbean, Malaysian and West Asian cuisine in search of good recipes with ocra. I wonder what it tastes like. The pods could be dried to preserve them for use in winter.
It is thought to cure diabetes and intestinal problems and is also used in cosmetics to treat the skin.




8 comments:

  1. Bamija / Okra is one of the few vegetables I actively dislike. I find the mucilaginous texture repellent! However, most people seem to enjoy it, so I must be wrong... Have you found any Louisiana recipes for it - e.g. Gumbo?
    BTW the pods are sometimes called "Lady's fingers".

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    Replies
    1. I really have not the slightest idea what's it taste like but I am willing to try it. I will check it out the recipe you suggests.

      Delete
  2. A beautiful flower. I've never tasted okra but have been put off trying as I have heard lots of people describe it as Mark has.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, the very word 'mucus' sounds repellent but, on the other hand, so is the rice in 'risotto'. maybe there is a way to pre-cook the okra to avoid this.

      Delete
  3. I like okra but I have never grown it before. It may be worth it just to see that flower :)

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  4. The flower is really lovely. At least, I will have some interesting new plants to see in my garden.

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