Taming the beast…Green mean okra

I love Okra, I always have. I remember when I was a kid, when it was okra season, we used to go to this little farm to get fresh okra, fresh as in picked right in front of you. To do that though you had to be there at 6 am! To my mum, the fresh ingredient was worth the trouble. To little me, it was a chance to run around the farm and carry my little bucket picking fuzzy okra pods.

As I grew up I came to realize that the mere mention of okra can instantly divide a room full of people into two groups, those who passionately love it and those who profoundly hate it. The main accusation the haters state is that okra can turn really… well ” slimy”. I was surprised to find that there are actually groups called “I hate okra” on facebook and online.

What would you say if I told you that okra is a nutritional  powerhouse, it is low in calories, loaded with vitamins and fibers?

Ok , but it is fuzzy and slimy. I hear you say..

Well what if I gave you the secret to a deslimed and delicious okra?

……………………………..

I’ll take that as a yes

The secret is really simple.

The less you cut okra the less slimy it gets.

True and tested fact.

You see, I grew up in the middle east, here okra is a staple in the everyday menu. It is made into a stew with tomato juice, onions and meat or baked in the oven as a casserole again with meat , onions and chopped tomatoes topped with fried garlic (that is the recipe I am sharing with you today). Both ways are really simple yet very tasty and not the least bet slimy.

How? I hear you ask

Simple..don’t slice the okra.

All you have to do is remove part of the okra cap, making sure you don’t expose the seeds

You see cutting into the seed area releases the slimy material that everyone complains about. If you cook okra whole, it won’t turn slimy.

This is how far you want to cut

Today’s recipe is my favorite way to eat okra..it is quick, can be prepared up to a day ahead and kept in the fridge and most of all, loaded with flavor

 

Okra casserole

1 kg okra

250 grams beef

4 ripe tomatoes

1 medium onion chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon all spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Olive oil

5-6 cloves garlic chopped

In  a pan add the okra, meat, onions, salt, all spice , cinnamon and olive oil.

Toss to combine.

Bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour untill the liquid is 2/3 gone.

in a pan fry the garlic until golden and crisp.

top the casserole with garlic and drizzle with the oil it was cooked in

Serve with pita bread and enjoy 🙂

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