A note to myself about OKRA.


Even though they might be a bit slimy, I actually love okra. Okra??? In case you never heard about okra (also called ‘ladyfingers’), it’s those small green thingies which look a bit like a mixture of zucchini and green beans. Well,… kind of 😉

The way I like okra the best is in an oriental (india? moroccan?) style. Never knew exactly where to get them and how to prepare them I stumbled over them in a tiny veggie story nearby my weekly yoga class with Michelle at Lily Agius’ Gallery in Sliema. Surprise, surprise! They did not only have boxes of fresh okra but also fresh coriander which doesn’t happen very often here in these latitudes. So, the home made okra experiment was ready to start! Check out the result…

After surfing the web for various ways of preparing okra (from roasting to boiling, from stews to curries) I decided to go for my favorite way: quick and easy but promising tasty! Just consider one important thing which I will never ever forget anymore after cooking this meal: get rid of the big ones and only take the small ones.. The small ones get soft and tender, the big ones are hard, chewy and contain more fibre than your mouth can take 😉 (they just landed in the bin, full stop.) Btw. okras are super healthy for you, read more about the benefits here..

oriental okra with wholewheat couscous

What you need…

  • 1 box of okra
  • 1 onion (I prefer brown or red), chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Delicious spices (and that’s the heart of this dish for me):
    1) I used a wonderful mix called SAMBAAR which contains cumin, tumeric, cumin, pepper, chilie, asafoetida and fenugreek
    2) DUKKAH which is an african-oriental mix of chashew nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts almonds, sesame, cumin, coreander, paprika, salt and pepper (I also used this in a wonderful crispy cauliflower crumble)
  • Some fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil

As a side I made wholewheat couscous with fresh lemon juice, salt, a bit of sambaar and tons of fresh coreander.

What to do…

Boil some water and put it on top of the couscous which is prepared with the spices and olive oil in a glass bowl. Cover with a plate and let it soak. Heat up the olive oil in a roasting pan. Wash the okra (don’t forget to get rid of the big ones and only use the small ones). Start roasting the chopped onions in a griddle pan for some minutes on medium heat, add the okra so they get a nice colour. Add the chooped garlic and spices, let them roast (and have some wine or set the table =). Taste one, see if they got soft, add the fresh chopped tomatoes and turn down the temperature. Let it simmer a bit, add a bit of water. Gently stir the couscous with a fork, lifting it to get as much air in as possible. Add some more olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Turn of the hub and season the okras to taste and serve together.

Hope you ENJOY 😀
Love, N.


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