Abelmoschus esculentus, also known in many countries as ladies’ fingers, with its origins disputed as to either Africa or Asia.
Whichever it ends up being, the mature fruit of this plant is used to make paper and rope, and probably the reason why in Middle Eastern dishes the fruit that is used is always the youngest, freshest and most tender.
Okra is very popular in many parts of the world.
The Moors referred to Okra as ‘sun vessels’ and thought that the seeds inside had healing properties, and once consumed would stay in the body forever giving protection from illnesses.
This has been a great week for me of cooking and experimenting with new bread recipes.
I always enjoy the time I get to try new things.
Sometimes they come out amazingly, and other times not so amazingly.
But whatever the outcome I always learn a lot.
This week one of my successes was a ciabatta style bread sprinkled with sesame seeds.
It turned out very well.
We are well into Ramadan now, when fasting starts at 4am and goes until 7:30 pm.
No food, no water, no smoking, so as you can imagine, it makes for lots of grumpy people.
The worst part of it is that I had to deal with bureaucracy in getting some paperwork done at a governmental department.
At the best of time this can be a frustrating task, and during Ramadan the processes are so much worse.
Never fun having to get things done with hungry, and grumpy people.
It can be stressful.
So much so that the saying which translated from Arabic, that they ‘dry your blood’ seems apt in these situations.
But thankfully everything got done in the end.
Of course after three trips that is!
As I write this, I have a quarter of a lamb in the oven cooking.
This morning I got up early and popped it into the oven where it will cook over the next six hours.
It will produce the most delicious dish.
Or that is the hope anyway!
Another exciting thing is that I’m traveling to Tokyo on Saturday.
I’m really looking forward to this trip.
Tokyo is such a fascinating city especially if you are into food.
The food in Japan is so diverse and tasty.
I’m most excited about visiting a store that sells four hundred types of salt! Amazing!
I can’t wait to learn something new about salt.
I’m sure I won’t have time for four hundred new things, but even a few will do.
I’m also looking forward to sharing my trip with you.
It’s an unusual way to cook okra and therefore will be a fresh dish for many.
That is always something fun to do.
Give it a try and let me know your thoughts!