New England Okra

It can be done! Here are our somewhat productive okra plants:

This is one of our biggest ones, and it has several pods growing on it right now. Not all of the plants are this big, though:

As you can see, the ones to the left are much smaller than this on the right. They ended up being shaded by the mustard plants earlier in the summer, so they didn't grow as quickly. They have some pods on them, though not as many. (The vine creeping under the taller okra plants is sweet potato, by the way.)

I've been picking okra for a couple weeks now, and finally had enough for a meal. I decided to make an okra curry using some of the bhuna masala I put up the other night:

Obviously the okra is the green part, but you may be wondering about the pinkish-red stalks. Turns out that I didn't have enough okra for the recipe, so I went out and pulled a bunch of our (big) Swiss chard and chopped up the stalks to make up the difference. I used Veena's recipe, and it was great, even with the Swiss chard.

After I cut the Swiss chard stalks, I had a lot of giant chard leaves left, so I wilted them and then sautéed them up with about a half cup of the masala base. Then I thought I'd make it noticeably different from the okra dish, so I added some cinnamon, a dash of sugar, and some half and half and cooked it all down to make more of a cream sauce for the chard:

This turned out great for something I just made up on the spot. I think Kirk liked it better than the okra (although Jonas declared it disgusting, spent some time in his room, and then rejoined us after apologizing for being so rude). We ate it over rice, with some raita (just plain yogurt, grated cucumber, and some pepper). This turned out to be a surprisingly filling dinner!

I'm not sure how much longer the okra will produce, as our days get shorter and nights start to cool off in another couple of weeks. In the future, I think I would plant more so that we could harvest more at a time (instead of having to hoard it in the fridge until we have enough to make something with). Also, we won't be planting mustard anywhere but the north side of a bed ever again, since it stunted some okra and some of the cucumber vines as well. 


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