You haven’t lived if you haven’t spent an hour or so preparing ladies’ fingers aka okra/bamya!
Yes, it is a very fiddly job: whatever you do, don’t buy them unless you’re ready to spend the time painstakingly peeling and trimming them.
BUT the rewards are considerable. This may be our favourite meze. Ladies’ fingers are right in season and I highly recommend taking the trouble to make this dish. If possible, go for the medium sized ones.
In an earlier post, you can see step by step how to peel these lovelies. You need a very sharp knife and honestly, it’s just like sharpening a pencil.
Yesterday however I decided that life was too short to do that to every single one as my lot turned out to be extremely mixed sizewise. I simply cut off the end of the teeniest of them all, some of them smaller than my fingernail!
The idea, of course, is to prevent the sticky substance inside each little okra from seeping out – I was relieved to see that chopping the end off some of them didn’t add to the general stickiness in any way and the final dish was as delectable as ever. Give the prepared okra a good wash in cold water before continuing.
I still use my original recipe where you can see pictures of the finished dish.You can find it here.
Daughter No 1 is here in Assos with us and says that okra is not common in England. Here, they are everywhere! At this time of year in Aegean Turkey at least you are bound to find this meze and the previous one of roasted red peppers in many a home.
PS this hot humid weather is just great for my kefir! Made a jugful yesterday with milk from our cows and it was thick and creamy this morning. I am very pleased with it! It’s like magic.
And talking about our cows, we had not one but two births on the same day last week! Easy births, both of them – calves both male and doing well.