Burpee Europe’s Super Bhindi okra and top chef’s dish
Despite being widely used in Asian restaurants, okra is not widely grown, mainly because suitable varieties have not been available for glasshouse or plastic tunnel production.
However, Burpee Europe has tested Super Bhindi in multiple Northern European locations, where it has performed well. 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).
Super Bhindi’s hibiscus-like flowers bring a touch of early morning exotic to any greenhouse.
Check out this recipe by chef Valerie Hamelin for a tasty treat, serving 3-4 people!
Creole Okra with Chicken & Prawns
- 450g chicken thighs – boneless & skinless
- 2-4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- ½ hot pepper/chilli, such as 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, such as Crispy, chopped
- 6 tomatoes, such as Super Mama, chopped
- 200g okra, such as Super Bhindi or Baby Bubba, sliced
- ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
- 300ml chicken stock
- 150g raw prawns
- ½ tsp salt and pepper
Creole spice mix
- 2½ tbsp 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 1 tbsp 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, hot pepper/chilli, 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, pepper 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.
TIP: 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!