Okra is not a specialty all over Africa but nearly a staple on the west of the continent. This slimy ingredient is rich and flavorful. Using freshly picked pods gives better taste results, as the fresher the vegetable, the better. This dish is primarily vegan and can be paired with mashed plantains and beans. Hang on and let’s tour the west, for a new taste bud explosion.
Time: Marinating 1 hour, Cooking 15 minutes
25 small okra pods
½ teaspoon ground chili pepper (use freshly chopped bullet chili if preferred)
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ cup canola oil for frying
1 chopped onion
2 chopped and deseeded tomatoes
1 diced green capsicum
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup of smoked and runny groundnut paste
½ cup desiccated coconut (optional)
Wash the okra pods. Wipe them completely with a paper towel to prevent the sticky juice from oozing. Cut off okra tops and tips and make a 5cm incision lengthways in each pod.
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and cover okra pieces with it. Let it rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Heat the canola oil in a saucepan and fry the spiced okra for 10-15 minutes. Ensure you stir frequently to keep the okra green with minimal browning. Add in the smoked groundnut paste, (ensure it is runny and not too thick) and simmer for 1 minute. Add the coconut if using for another minute. Turn heat off and serve.