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OKRA CASSEROLE

SLOW-COOKED WITH TOMATOES

(Bamies)


Serves 4


INGREDIENTS:


METHOD:

  1. Prepare the okra pods as described on the right.
  2. Heat the oil in a large deep pan or saute pan and fry the onion slices until light golden.
  3. Stir in the fresh or canned tomatoes, with the sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4.  Add the okra and shake the pan to distribute them evenly and coat them in the sauce. The okra should be immersed in the sauce, so add a little hot water if necessary.
  5. Cook gently for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the okra.
  6. Shake the pan occasionally, but do not stir.
  7. Add the parsley just before serving.

Okra ( Bamies )

The green pods of a tall annual, okra is also known by the descriptive name of lady's fingers.

The parent plant can reach a height of 2m (6ft).

In Greece, okra pods tend to be quite small and slim, but elsewhere they do vary in size. They have to be handled gently, so that they do not get bruised.

The vegetable originated in Africa and is widely used in Creole cooking.

Okra's main claim to fame is that, when sliced, it oozes a sticky liquid, which acts as a thickener when the pods are cooked.

When the pods are cooked whole, they have a sweet taste and a melting texture.

Okra is a real favourite in Greece. It tastes delicious with both meat or chicken, but is more often cooked in a casserole with fresh tomatoes, which is one of my favourite lunches, especially when served with chunks of feta cheese and slices of crusty bread.

Preparing okra

When preparing okra for cooking whole, pare off the conical head from each pod, using a small sharp knife, either making a straight cut or angling the knife slightly.














  1. Take care not to cut so deep that you expose the seeds inside.
  2. Remove the black tip at the other end, again taking care not to cut too deeply.
  3. Rinse the pods quickly under cold water and drain them well.
  4. Don't slice the pods unless you need the mucilaginous liquid to thicken the dish.
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