Okra is a member of the Mallow family, related to cotton, hibiscus and hollyhock. It is a tall (6 ft) annual tropical herb cultivated for its edible green seed pod (there is also a red pod variety, which turns green when cooked). It has heart shaped leaves (one species is cultivated for its edible leaves), and large, yellow, hibiscus-like flowers.
Store in a paper bag in the warmest part of refrigerator, as temperatures below 45 degrees can damage okra. It does not store well, so use within 2 or 3 days at most.
Do not wash until ready to use, or it will become slimy. When preparing, remember that the more it is cut, the slimier it will become. Aluminium pots will discolour it. Okra is excellent saut_ed or fried. Very young, tender pods can be sliced, dipped in egg, breaded with corn meal and fried.