Okra (US or UK /; Abelmoschus esculentus Moench), known in many English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingers, bhindi, bamia, or gumbo, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of West African, Ethiopian, and South Asian origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.
The name okra is most often used in the United States, and Philippines with a variant pronunciation, English Caribbean okro. The word okra is West African, probably from Igbo. Okra is often known as “lady’s fingers” outside of Africa.
In various Bantu languages, okra is called (ki)ngombo or a variant, and this is the origin of many European names: Portuguese quiabo, Spanish quimbombó or guigambó, Dutch, French, and Italian gombo; possibly also of the name “gumbo”, used in parts of the United States and English-speaking Caribbean for either the vegetable or a stew based on it.
In much of South Asia, and often in the United Kingdom, it is called by some variant of bhindi: bhendi, bendai, bhinda, bende, vendai, though in Bengal, it is called dherosh.
In the Middle East and the Balkans, it is called bamia or bamyeh. In the Dominican Republic, it is called molondron. In eastern Algeria, it’s called gnaouia. In China, it is called qiu kui.
Okra is a popular health food due to its high fiber, vitamin C, and folate content. Okra is also known for being high in antioxidants. Okra is also a good source of calcium and potassium.