Interesting Tips on Cooking Okra:
The problem with okra is that, like aloe vera, it’s slimy. I got frozen okra (whole and sliced) so I’m already at a disadvantage. I’m going to soak the okra in 1:1 water to vinegar for an hour, then dry it off well (salad spin, paper towels, dry out at room temp) and saute it over high heat. Apparently, the trick is to cook it quickly at high heat, then add it to the stew at the end. NO SALT should be added to okra until it’s ready to eat.
There are two ways I make this recipe: the weeknight version and “good” version. Weeknight version: fry tomato paste, add water, carrots, and okra. I suggest you use the “good” version even though it creates more dishes to wash and takes longer to make. Below is the “good version”.
- ~ 1 lb. Okra, whole
- 1 lb. Carrots, cut up in roughly same shape as the okra
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- ~tbsp cornstarch or ~ 2 tbsp flour
- 1 fresh tomato, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- pinch of cumin (to taste)**
- red chili pepper flakes
- Soak and dry okra.
- In a soup pot, saute garlic in oil.
- Add tomato paste and fry for 3 minutes. (continuously stirring)
- Stir in the flour/cornstarch, cook 1 minute.
- Add water gradually, stir vigorously to ensure there are no clumps.
- In a skillet, saute the carrots in butter.
- To the pot, add the sauteed carrots, tomatoes, and water enough to just cover it all.
- Add cumin, red pepper, & salt.
- Bring to a boil and simmer until the carrots are five minutes shy of cooked.
- In a skillet, saute the okra over high heat.
- Add okra to pot and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Adjust the seasonings.
- Serve with rice.
To brighten up leftovers when reheating, squeeze a bit of lemon (or vinegar) in it.
** another option is to make cumin butter (mix cumin in a few tbsp butter) and add a tsp atop each plate at serving time.