Okra is the Marmite of vegetables: you love it, you hate it there is no middle way. But it is possible to move from the hate stage to the love one as I’ve found out.
My first experince of okra were in cheap though not necessary cheerful “Indian” restaurants around the hospital where I trained. We would all save up and go out of a monthly curry and whilst I focused on the Tandori Chicken there was always some idiot who wasted some of our meagre cash on a Bhindi Bhaji. This slimy mess was an anathema to me, I wanted meat, hot dhal and buttered naan bread, but as we always split the bill I would force down my share of slime.It was years later when I found that, quickly fried when very fresh, okra had a pleasing crunch and pleasant flavour. Cooked in tempura young okra are a delicious way of getting sauce and batter to your mouth and now I make pickled okra.
One point to bear in mind here is that this is a pickle that you need to store in the fridge or a cold larder and one that is best after one week and should be eaten within the month.I don’t pre-salt the okra but cold pickle in in a high acidity vinegar (6%) with sugar salt and spices to add zing. I’ve added maple syrup as once, in a moment of serendipity I poured some into this pickle and loved the rounded flavour it gave but you can simply increase the sugar to taste. Raw sugar works well but do note that dark brown sugar will colour your pickle.
The green of the okra pods will fade over time, but served with a dish of fried chicken I challenge you to find a better relish.