Okra, or bhindi, have been a mainstay across lunch tables in Indian households. Whether it is a simple bhindi masala or a yummy tawa bhindi, you can experiment with this vegetable in a number of ways. The unique flavour and texture of okra lend an interesting spin to whatever dish you add it to. 

While our usual okra is green in colour, have you ever come across the bright reddish-maroon coloured bhindi? Yes, that exists! And if you haven’t seen one yet, you have missed out on a gem. Also known as kumkum bhindi, kashi lalima is a red coloured bhindi, which has been developed by the Indian Institute of Vegetable Research in Uttar Pradesh. It took about 23 years to develop, but is worth all the time and effort. 

If experts are to be believed, this red coloured bhindi is the most nutritious version of okra, and it comes with many health benefits. While your regular green bhindi is indeed a powerhouse of nutrition, according to experts, kashi lalima can be a good remedy for improving heart health. With an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, specifically post pandemic, it has become vital to have a nutrient-rich diet that accelerates good heart health. 

Kumkum bhindi is created with nutrients that may help in improving cardiac health. According to a report, kashi lalima has around 94% polyunsaturated fat, which helps in naturally reducing the LDL (bad cholesterol) levels in the body. Besides, the low sodium content in this vegetable also contributes towards improving heart health. Moreover, the red bhindi - which was developed after about 8-10 years of research - has about 21% iron and 5% protein, which helps in improving our overall immunity and metabolism. Kashi lalima is also said to be as easy to grow as the regular bhindi, and costs at about ₹100 to ₹500 per kg. 

Abundance of antioxidants and nutrients - like anthocyanins and phenolics that have anti-inflammatory properties - lend immunity-boosting abilities to this veggie. With Vitamins A, C, and B complex, high fibre and low calorie content, kashi lalima is deemed to be the next big superfood in the world of health enthusiasts. 

Besides, it brings with it a different kind of vibrancy, similar to that of beetroot, and carrots. If you are wondering how you can cook it at home, fret not. You can cook the red okra just like you prepare the usual bhindi at home. So go on, make your regular tawa bhindi, kurkuri bhindi, and more with red bhindi too.