Called “bamies latheres me domata” in Greek, which means oil-braised okra with tomatoes, it’s most often prepared as a summer vegetarian dish that I adore but rarely ever eat here in France; but since I’m heading to Montreal soon to see my family, I hope I can prepare this stew with my mom !
Okra, also called gumbo or bhindi or lady’s fingers is a bizarre vegetable, with its origins in western Africa and southeastern Asia, but made its way across the oceans and seas to southern Europe and the Americas.
Its long pods enclose little soft seeds that are encased in a gelatin like goo and when overcooked, split open and look like little green octopi. Yes, it’s true.
The gelatin substance and the opening-up of the pods can be countered by either using frozen okra or soaking fresh and trimmed okra in water, salt and vinegar, before cooking.
The preparation is quite simple and almost identical to making green string beans in tomato sauce (see recipe here), with or without meat and/or potatoes, but I prefer okras with a broth-flavored rice because I appreciate the contrast of the flavors and textures.
Try some OKRA this summer, it’s surprising ! … :)