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Low Calorie Okra Dry Vegetable

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.

Introduction

Okra is a very popular vegetable and is commonly known by the name of 'ladies finger' in many countries. It is a green vegetable and is having a good amount of dietary fibre in it. In addition to this valuable material it contains many other nutritional elements in it. It is a very tasty vegetable and is prepared in various versions of dry or curry vegetable recipes across the world.

In this article we are presenting one dry vegetable recipe to be prepared in microwave oven. We will be using no oil or a little bit of oil and cooking the dish in the microwave. The advantage of microwave cooking is that we can cook it without oil also (see microwave cooking notes at the end of this article). We will be adding a small quantity of potato in this so that its calorie value remains minimal. Potato is generally added to enhance the taste of the dish. We will be adding some capsicum also to it for some flavour.

Okra - nutritional facts

Okra is a high fibre vegetable. That is the reason that it is also a low calorie food item. Okra contains many minerals and vitamins in it. About 100 gram of Okra will give Potassium - 299 mg, Sodium - 7 mg, fat - only 200 mg, carbohydrate - 700 mg, dietary fibre - 3200 mg, sugar - 1500 mg, and protein - 1900 mg.

The other minerals and vitamins that same 100 gram of okra provides are mentioned here as a percentage of our daily body requirement of those nutrients and are as Vitamin C (38%), Calcium (8%), Iron (3%), Vitamin B6 (10%), and Magnesium (14%). It is evident that okra is a good source of vitamin C and Magnesium.

Ingredients

The quantity of the dish, produced by using the following ingredients for this recipe, will suffice for 2-3 people when taken with other food items during main meals.

Preparation time - 25 minutes.

  • Okra - 200 gram (about 15-20 numbers).
  • Capsicum - 1 No. (medium sized).
  • Potato - 1 No. (small or medium).
  • Onion - 1 to 2 Nos.
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp.
  • Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp.
  • Mango powder - 1 to 1-1/2 tsp.
  • Turmeric powder (optional) - 1/2 tsp.
  • Red whole chilli (optional) - 1 No.
  • Cooking oil - 1 tsp.
  • Salt to taste.

Preparation

Wash okra, capsicum, and potato and drain them. Peel onion and cut in very small pieces or chop it. Cut the capsicum in small pieces. Now peel potato and cut it in small pieces. Cut okra also in small pieces around half inch sizes. One interesting thing here is that people prepare okra by cutting it in very small pieces like around quarter inch or less and also by cutting it in pieces more than an inch but that makes a difference in taste and texture. The first one turns out to be a bit crispy on cooking while the latter a bit soggy. That is an interesting observation and one can take mileage out of that while customising the dish as per one's taste and liking.

Cut the red whole chilli in two or three pieces and remove the seeds. Keep aside.

Method

Take a thick walled glass bowl or any other microwave cooking bowl and pour cooking oil in it. Add cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder, chopped onion, red chilli pieces to it and keep in the microwave in 'very high' or 'high' heat mode (see microwave cooking notes at the end of this article) for 2 to 3 minutes. Take the bowl out. Mix the contents well.

Now add okra, capsicum, and potato pieces, mango powder, salt to taste, and half cup water and keep it in microwave and cook in same heat mode for 10 to 12 minutes. Check 2-3 minutes before the end time for consistency and if the mixture is found to be very dry or sticking to bottom of the bowl then add 3-4 tsp of water by sprinkling it on the dish and then proceed for remaining 2-3 minutes cooking.

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Then the dish is ready.

Okra dry vegetable

low-calorie-okra-dry-vegetable

Serving

This is a dry vegetable and can be served directly on the meal plate. It goes well with bread, rice, and curries. The quantity of this dish would be adequate for about 8-10 servings. Some people like to have it with curd or yoghurt or buttermilk.

Nutritional information

As per the calorie value of the ingredients used, one serving of this dish would provide about 30 to 35 calories. In microwave we can cook the dish without oil also and if we remove oil and potato from it then it would provide only 15 to 20 calories per serving. That is only an approximate calculation and would slightly change with the type of oil used or even some butter used in place of oil.

Microwave basics

Microwave oven is a very useful cooking device and many people use it in an effective way. However in many households it is mainly used for heating purposes. Being such a high end gadget and using it only for heating purposes would be some sort of underutilization of this machine.

Fact is that it can be effectively used for a variety of dishes ranging from dry to curries. One advantage is that oil is not essential in microwave cooking as cooking is done through the heating of water and moisture in the ingredients. It is obvious that the water to be added to the ingredients before cooking them in the microwave is a crucial element in microwave cooking.

Generally microwave oven come with 4 to 5 heat ranges like very high, high, low, very low etc and depending upon the need we have to select the heat range. For preparing dry vegetables the ranges 'very high' or 'high' are advisable. I prefer to use high setting. The main difference between microwave cooking and other common modes of cooking is that in microwave cooking we have to use microwave compatible bowls like thick walled glass bowls for cooking purposes. We cannot use metallic vessels in it. However some modern microwaves are equipped with combination cooking that is microwave as well as conventional oven type but that is beyond the scope of this article.

One precaution that we have to take in microwave cooking is that we must add the required quantity of water before keeping the bowl in the oven. If we forget that then after some time due to absence of water or moisture in the dish the material will start charring and will turn into coal like matter and it would be a failure attempt in preparing the dish. This is a very important point and one must remember it at any cost. This problem is more common while preparing the dry dishes because we have to put a little water in them. While preparing curries we do not have any such problem as we would add 4-5 cups of water beforehand and dish would get prepared in presence of that good quantity of water.

Rrferences

(1.)https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/okra-health-benefits

(2.)https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/311977

(3.)https://caloriecontrol.org/healthy-weight-tool-kit/food-calorie-calculator/

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Umesh Chandra Bhatt

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