Okra may have originated in Africa West Africa or Ethiopia) or south Asia and history tells us that the ancient Egyptians cultivated it in the 12th century BC. Known as ladies fingers (or gumbo in the Americas), okra is a member of the mallow family. You can find dishes that feature in the cuisines in many counties around the world.
400g fresh okra
6-8 tbsp light olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced lengthwise
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ teaspoon fennel seeds ground
1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
Salt to taste
2 green chilies, sliced lengthwise
Wash the okra, drain and dry really well (otherwise the veggies can feel a little slimy – yuck!). Cut off the ends and slice into 2cm pieces.
1 tsp ground pomegranate powder or a splash of lime juice.
In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion. Stir and cook until golden.
Add the spices to the pan (except the pomegranate powder or lime juice) and roast for a minute or so to allow the spices to become fragrant.
Add the okra, stir to coat and cook, uncovered on a medium heat for about 20 minutes (the veggies should simmer). Don’t add water but do stir occasionally so the mixture doesn’t stick. The dish is done when the veggies are tender.
Sprinkle with the pomegranate powder or lime juice and serve with naan, pitta or roti.