Spiced Bindi (Okra) for Turmeric Week!

by Christy aka the Missus on August 17, 2009

Spiced Okra

This week’s highlighted spice is Turmeric.

Turmeric is that yellow powder you’ve probably been neglecting in your spice rack, which is mostly known as the spice in curries. Often dubbed the poor man’s saffron, it is used not only for it’s warm and bitter flavour but also for it’s colouring (it’s the colour used in yellow mustard) and most recently known for it’s health benefits. I have to admit that when this spice was voted for, I was excited yet I knew I was in for a challenge. We’ve experimented with turmeric many times, trying to perfect what our local Indian restaurant does so well with their curries (we’re still working on that) but after testing new ideas we were able to nail a few great recipes which I’ll share with you all week long!
Today’s first installment, Spiced Bindi, is our star.

You’ve probably heard that turmeric is the new wonder spice. At a bbq over the weekend I eavesdropped on a funny conversation that went a bit like this:

“I have some theories about food. Think about it–when’s the last time you’ve seen a bald Mexican or have heard of a Indian dying of cancer? It’s because avocados are good for the hair and spices, such as turmeric, are cancer fighters.”

Though I’m not sure about the avocado theory (but I have a feeling I’ll be eating more of ’em!), I have found substantial research that supports the amazing benefits from turmeric, most notably for slowing the development of Alzheimer’s disease, a practically unknown condition in turmeric-addicted India. Also a rare occurrence among men in India is prostate cancer (the second leading killer in American men) whose low risk is attributed to a diet rich in brassica family vegetables and the curry spice, turmeric. Believe me, the list goes on and on so the bottom line is get cooking with turmeric!

Photo courtesy of plotblog.blogspot.com

Okra fields - Photo courtesy of plotblog.blogspot.com

If you’re not too familiar with okra, this is a brilliant way to try it out. Also known as ladies fingers, gumbo or bendi, okra is best when purchased fresh and eaten within 3 days of purchase, but it’s also available canned and frozen.

serves 2

2 cups fresh Okra – trimmed and sliced
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup onion, fine dice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup low-sodium veg or chicken broth


Preheat large saute pan on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil and saute onions for 30 seconds, stirring — Do not brown. Add garlic and ginger and saute for another 30 seconds then add cumin seeds for an additional 30 seconds. Add in okra, saute for one minute stirring. Begin adding in spices: turmeric, coriander and garam masala, combining all ingredients together.

Turmeric and Okra

Cook for 10 minutes then add in broth, scraping all browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Continue cooking for 15-20 minutes total until softened and all the broth has been absorbed.
Taste and season. Serve warm or at room temp.

Want another great recipe using turmeric and a brassica family veg? Try this delicious Gobi Mattar. Brilliant like — and don’t forget to check back all this week for more turmeric recipes!

Gobi Mattar

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurie Bharitkar August 17, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Looking forward to this weeks recipes…when my husband and I were in India this past spring, his family taught me the wonders of “Tumeric” every dish they cooked was Delicious and Tumeric was indeed incorporated in most of their dinners..and his family members have lived well in to their 90’s …with a full head of hair! ; )

On a limb with Claudia August 17, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Wow, that looks awesome. Thanks for sharing Gavan!

Gavan Murphy aka the H.I. August 18, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Laurie, you’re lucky you got to experience turmeric in all it’s glory in it’s homeland. As for the hair, most of them are wearing wigs (I heard!)
Thanks Claudia, as always.

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