Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kuwaiti-Style Okra & Tomatoes

Kuwaiti-style Okra & Tomatoes with Saffron-Almond Rice
Having recently received a large quantity of fresh okra from a friend experiencing "Okrageddon" (an explosion of okra production of Biblical proportions) in her vegetable garden, I decided to go digging through my cookbooks for a new way of cooking okra, especially more mature, longer pods. I've always thought of okra as a staple of the American South, the Caribbean, India and Africa (where okra traces its roots). Imagine my surprise when I discovered a recipe from Kuwait, of all places, that features okra as the main ingredient!

The following recipe is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking cookbook. While the original calls for tender (i.e., young) okra that's cooked whole, you can use older, larger pods as I did if you slice them into rounds. The low, slow simmer will tenderize tougher, older okra, as will the acid in the lemon juice, and the results will not be slimy or "woody." To guarantee slime-free okra, make sure the okra pods are COMPLETELY dry before you cut them. I washed mine earlier in the day, patted them dry with paper towels and then spread in a single layer on dry paper towels for a few hours until it was time to cook dinner. The original recipe says it can be made with frozen okra instead of fresh, but I can't vouch for its lack of sliminess as I haven't made it with frozen.

I served this Kuwaiti style okra and tomatoes with saffron-almond basmati rice, and you can serve it with any other type of rice or with pita or other flatbread, too.

1 1/2 lbs fresh okra, trimmed & sliced into 1/2" to 3/4" thick rounds
Kuwaiti-style Okra & Tomatoes
4 Tbs olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 to 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste - I used 1 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (this is mildly spicy; increase amount for more heat)
Juice of half a lemon (approx. 1 Tbs)
1/4 to 1/3 cup water

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onion & garlic and fry until onions become translucent. Add okra and fry for at least 1 minute--or until just beginning to soften, if using more mature okra (about 5 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients--I start with only 1/4 cup water and add more later if it looks too dry. Stir, bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook gently for 15 to 25 minutes, or longer, until okra is tender, stirring occasionally (the larger or older the okra, the longer it will take to cook).  Serves 4 to 6.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  If you enjoy reading, collecting or browsing through cookbooks, visit our Cookbooks Page to check out what's available from the Carolina Sauce Company!

No comments:

Post a Comment