Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lady's Finger 羊角豆

Lady’s finger ( Abelmoschus esculentus ) is a flowering plant from the Malvaceae family ( along with cotton, cocoa and hibiscus ), originated from West Africa. It is believe that it reached the New World along with slave trafficking.
It is also called ‘okra’ in the United States. In various Bantu languages ( Subsaharan African Niger-Congo languages ), it is called ‘kingombo’ or a variant thereof, and this is the origin of its name in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French. The Arabic ‘bāmyah', is the basis of the names in the Middle East, Eastern Europe. In India, it is known as 'bhindi' in Hindi, probably explains the name 'bendi' in Malay.

Bendi produces mucilage when cooked. This mucilage is a thick, gluey substance rich in soluble fiber. Not all likes the sliminess of bendi, to avoid sliminess, bendi pod is cooked uncut, or briefly stir-fried, or cooked with acidic ingredients such as citrus, tomato, or vineger. Alternatively the pods can be sliced thinly and cooked for a long time, so that the mucilage dissolves.



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