Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
Welcome to our exotic world of everlasting summers and tropical rainforests!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Okra, My Ladies Fingers

Okra is a member of the hibiscus family.
Botanical name: Abelmoschus esculentus
Common Names: okra, ladies finger, bendi, bhindi, gumbo
Family: Malvaceae (mallow Family)

I am growing okra from seeds in seed packets that I purchased at the supermarket here. The seeds germinated quite fast, in 1 to 2 days time. Almost all of them did and there were very little wastage.

Look! There are two babies here. One of them is already shedding off its outer coat now.

One by one, they awaken to the warmth of the morning sun. I think the cutest seedling is the one with 2 tiny shoots opened wide.

These little plants grow fast. Before long flower buds started to appear.

When the buds are very small, I find it difficult to differentiate the buds from the pods. When the buds mature to reveal cream yellow petals, it is easy to tell them apart.

Now, a flower has opened fully. The petals are cream yellow and dark purple at the base. The stigma is also dark purple.

This is the side view of my latest vegetable model. Beautiful, isn't it?

I like the shape of their leaves.

Now, finally I am rewarded with some okras. When cut, the cross-section of okra fruits has a symmetrical pentagon design, hence it can be used to make pretty prints for cards and handicraft works.

This is my first harvest. Yes, only 2 okras!

Here are some ways that I can cook okras:
a) blanched, boiled, steamed
b) meat and fish curry
c) assam fish/fish head
d) vegetarian curry
e) stir fried with sambal belacan (chilly shrimp paste)
f) stuffed with fish paste - we call it 'yong tow foo'

Do you have other ways of cooking okras?
I have still not perfected the method of removing the slime when cooking okras. How do you reduce okra slime effectively?

This is my entry for Blooming Friday Week 4. The theme today is seeds and infructescences. My grateful thanks to Katarina at Roses and Stuff for hosting Blooming Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, click here.

This is my first entry for Fertilizer Friday. My grateful thanks to Tootsie at Tootsie Time for hosting Fertilizer Friday. To see what others have posted or to participate, visit here.

This is also my entry for Today's Flowers #63. My grateful thanks to the TF folks: Santilli, Denise, Pupo and Valkyrien for hosting Today's Flowers. To participate or view other floral displays around the world, click here.


  1. What a lovely stunning flower! I like the leaves too..very cool! Wonderful cooking ideas! Great post!

  2. Hello Autumn Belle, what a great post,you are an expert and know the botanical names!! and your are going to cook them!!! I´ve never seen okras before, they look lovely!!! and the best is that they grow so fast!!
    Thanks for coming to visit my garden, I´m so happy my work is now giving its fruits.
    Muchos cariños
    María Cecilia, from Chile

  3. I love how you showed step by step how you got to that delicious okra. Very great information... and did I tell you thanks for helping me with the link? THANKS!

  4. Put these ladyfingers in the rice cooker and I shall get some decicious one.

  5. I so enjoyed seeing your little seeds sprout into plants and create that lovely flower! ... lovely to see the transformation. I would dip the sliced okra into soy milk and then some flour and then olive oil ... stir fry no slime. Yummy! Carol

  6. I haven't grown okra in years. The flowers are really lovely. De-sliming okra isn't something I could ever do. But in stews, does it make a difference?

  7. never even seen the seeds for this anywhere!!! what a pretty plant that is! thanks for linking in today...I loved seeing your sprouting plants...just don't feed them until they get their second set of leaves...(but I know you already knew that) lol
    have a great weekend

  8. what a beautiful Okra flowers, no wonder they look like hibicus, (its of the same family)
    So lovely to see that you started with seeds in those papercups till you havest them.

    I love to have my okra with fish curry, its taste so crushly & delicious. Also they taste great with chilli powder, some salt & semi-fried.

    The slime have a health factor where its an agent to make the bowel moment easy - considering that as a very important element for cancer-fighting agent. (for colon cancer & good digestive property)
    So, don't discount that best part.

  9. WOW!
    I love okras, to be honest - I can thrive on it forever. Great post! I'm inspired to consider growing it here.

  10. I didn't realize how pretty Okra blooms were! Thanks for sharing!

  11. OK, now Okra is a Southern dish, yall' So to make it like us Southerners, you slice it into 1/4 inch slices and roll it in some nice yellow corn meal,salt and pepper it and then fry it in some nice hot vegetable oil....yummmyummm Serve it with fresh sliced tomatoes, some cornbread and a great big glass of sweet iced tea---that's how us southerners enjoy it!!! lol :-)

  12. What a lovely picture story. Here, in Sweden, we do not use okra at all. I have never tasted it. Sounds nice!

  13. It is wonderful to see this plant growing in gardens... coz I love to eat okras very much and not choosy on how it is cooked :-D Your okras look good and healthy. Enjoy the fruit of your labour and have a wonderful weekend!

  14. I grow the ornamental okra...I hate to eat okra, but love the blooms. On the ornamental okra instead of getting okra you get seed pods!!

  15. I have never tried to grow okra. What a beautiful flower! I just might have to try it after seeing this post. Thank you!

  16. I had no idea how pretty okra flowers were. Someone gave me seed to try, and after seeing how pretty they are I will see how they do for me next summer.

  17. Great post! I love the blooms...they are very pretty! I don't really care for okra but I love the foliage and blooms :).

  18. I wonder if okra will also grow in Europe? The plant and its flowers look very pretty.

  19. I love the way you've shown the progression from seed to fruit. And I can understand your joy on getting just two of them (for a start):) Great post and lovely photos. I find veggie blooms special too.

  20. I do not care for okra but I would plant it for the blooms alone. Who would think the blooms would be so pretty. ;-)
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  21. I had no idea the flowers were so pretty! My husband's a good ole Southern boy as well, so he loves okra. I'm surprised no one has mentioned gumbo yet? OK, someone correct me if I'm wrong, and I really should be passing this along since I'm not quite positive what goes in gumbo, but I'll just say it anyway in case no one else mentions it. Gumbo is a stew-like creating usually served with rice in it or over a mound of rice. In the stew is a roux-base (onions, other stew type veggies cooked in butter and flour) okra, andouille (sorta spicy)sausage, sometimes chicken, gumbo file and other spices. I LOVE it - minus the okra though, I don't care for the little balls in it!

    Love the flower though! thanks for sharing the photo and enlightening post!

  22. Kiki, Rosey, Rainfield, Dragonfly Treasure, Lilliebeth, Bonnie, Catherine, Amy, Hocking Hills Garderner, I hope it has inspired you all to try growing okra. Thanks you very much for the regular visits. I appreciate it very much.

    Carol, thank you for your recipe. Now I have another way to cook okra.

    Maria Cecilia, Welcome to my blog. Actually I am not an expert. I need to do some research before I know the botanical names of some plants. You are gardening so far away in Chile, I have a lot to see from your blog.

    Mary Delle, you are right. The slime doesn’t make any difference if it is in stews and curries. In fact, it makes it thicker, which is how I like it. I do wish for less slime when okra is eaten steamed.

    Tootsie, thank you very much for your tip for applying fertilizer. Actually, I didn’t know about this step but luckily, I got it right.

    James, the papercups are recycled items. Sometimes, I also retain some used cups from McDonalds for this purpose. Thank you for your chilli powder recipe of cooking okra. Its great to know that the slime is healthy. It makes cooking so much easier.

    Urban Green, Stephanie, Kanak, I love eating okras like you all.

    Thoughtfully blended hearts, I learnt something new from you today. Okra is a Southerner’s dish and thank you so much for the recipes.

    Darla, I think growing the ornamental okra is a very good idea. I’m wondering whether we can find their seeds / seedlings here.

    Babara, I guess you can grow okra in Europe, maybe Germany too, especially in Spring and Summer.

    Wendy, thank you for the valuable information about gumbo. It is very interesting.

    I would like to thank you all for giving me the recipes here in the comments section. Now it has become my treasured collection. I certainly hope to try them all out.

  23. What an interesting post and what a lovely flower nice to know where okra comes from

  24. Wow...didn't know that Okra's flowers are so beautiful! Great recycle ideas too, Autumn Belle! Thanks for sharing. And, thanks to the others too...learning lots from all comments above.

  25. Joanne, you are so sweet, my dear.

    Jacqueline, I love comments too. This is like stopping over for a nice chat. It's fun, isn't it?


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