While it is preferable to use fresh okra and tomatoes for this dish, canned okra and diced tomatoes will work well when short on time or energy.
This is a delicious, hearty, gut-healthy dish, loaded with vitamins A, Thiamin, B6, C, folic acid, riboflavin, calcium, zinc and dietary fiber. And both the mucilage (the slimy stuff around the seeds) and the fibre contained in the pod are excellent for gastrointestinal health.
But enough about the health benefits. Let's talk taste! This is a very simple dish, but is just bursting with flavour. As with many Lebanese dishes, it is the holy trinity of olive oil, garlic and lemon that flavour this dish. The texture, however, is all in the okra.
Here we go:
- 3-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (some use up to 1/2 cup)
- 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz. can okra (or equivalent of fresh okra)
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (or equivalent fresh, ripe tomatoes)
- 5 small white onions, chopped (generally included, but we opted for no onion and lots of garlic)
- up to 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped (we were out, unfortunately)
- 3-4 tbsp lemon juice
- sea salt to taste (if using canned okra and tomato, skip salt)
- Saute minced garlic in olive oil for a minute or two (don't allow too much browning).
- Add onion, if using.
- Add okra and bring to boil.
- Add diced tomatoes and bring to boil.
- Simmer for a few minutes, or until okra is tender.
- Add salt and cilantro.
Serve over brown basmati or other long-grain rice. Enjoy!