The Burpee Europe team know that despite being widely used in Asian restaurants across Europe, Okra is not widely grown, mainly because suitable varieties have not been available for glasshouse or plastic tunnel production.
Testing in multiple Northern Europe locations has shown Burpee’s new ‘Super Bhindi’ to be an excellent performer. The medium vigorous, well-branched plants grow to 1.5m and produce a prolific crop of deep green fruit that are best harvested when 7-10cm long (between July and October) to ensure the most succulent, tender texture.
‘Super Bhindi’s hibiscus-like flowers bring a touch of early morning exotic to any greenhouse.
But just how can you cook with Okra? Check out our recipe below devised by the chef Valerie Hamelin for a super tasty treat!
Creole Okra with Chicken & Prawns Recipe
Serves 3 to 4 people
450g Chicken thighs – boneless & skinless
2 to 4tbsp of rapeseed oil
½ Pepper – ‘Mirch Masala’ or ‘Chiang Rai’ finely chopped
2 tsp Garlic – chopped
1 Bay leaf
1 Medium onion – chopped
70g Celery – diced
1 tsp Smoked paprika
1 tsp Fresh/ dry thyme
1 Sweet pepper – ‘Crispy’ – chopped
6 Tomatoes – Tomato – ‘Super Mama’ – chopped
200g Fresh okra – Okra – ‘Baby Bubba’ or ‘Super Bhindi’ – sliced
½ tsp cayenne pepper
300 ml Chicken stock
150g Raw prawns
½ tsp Salt and pepper
Creole spice mix
2 ½tbsp Paprika
2 tbsp Salt
2 tbsp Garlic powder
1 tbsp Black pepper
1 tbsp Onion powder
1 tbsp Cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Dried oregano
1 tbsp Dried thyme
- Cut the chicken into small pieces and season with the Creole spice mix and marinade for 15 – 20 minutes (the longer the better).
- Heat a saucepan with 1tbsp oil, add the chicken and sauté for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- In the same pan, add the onions, garlic, celery, jalapenos, bay leaf, thyme and paprika. Add more oil if needed then stir gently and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Once all the ingredients are all golden brown, add the tomatoes, cayenne pepper, peppers and the sealed chicken. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Stir in the okra and add the stock. Season to taste
- Stir occasionally and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Finally, stir in the prawns, cooking for a further 5 to 6 minutes until cooked through.
The Okra is used as a thickening agent so your dish should be a lovely consistency.
Serve with basmati and wild rice and finish with freshly chopped coriander. Enjoy with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio!