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A very well-known dish in the eastern mediterranean, called Bamya. As it also known to english speaking countries as Gumbo.

In spite of many healthy benefits of okra: rich in fiber that helps the digestive system work orderly, rich in minerals especially iron, calcium, and vitamin A, some people don’t like okra because of its slimness texture (that’s including my husband).

Some tips to reduce the slimness; keeping the pods intact and cooking quickly, cook it with acidic ingredients like tomato, citrus or drops of lemon juice will do well. When buying okra pick the fresh ones (not spotted), small buds have smaller seeds than longe buds.

Okra can be found fresh in farmers markets or in super grocery store either fresh or frozen. to prepare fresh okra you just cut the upper half of the cone (don’t reach the bud otherwise it will release its slime during cooking) and try not to squish or damage the bud. Wash the okra and wrap it with paper or cloth towel and keep it in the fridge for a week. If you decide to freeze it, make sure they are dry no water residues by spread it on cloth towel for an hour or so, then pack it in plastic bags and keep it in the freezer for 6 months.

Okra can be cooked in many ways. You can fry it, braise it, grill it, or oven roasted. My family (especially my DH) like it pan style roasted in the oven with stew meat, fresh tomato, pepper, and garlic.

Oven Roasted Okra with Tomato

fresh or frozen okra
stew meat
minced onion
chopped garlic
chunky fresh tomato
green pepper
olive oil
black pepper
cumin
ground dried coriander
cinnamon
all spice
paprika
cardamom

On the pan sear the onion and meat with 2 tablespoon olive oil for 10 minutes stir occasionally, add the okra stir gently for a couple more minutes with squishing the buds, season with salt and the other spices.

layer the tomato, garlic, and pepper season with salt and the same spices, drizzle another 1 tablespoon of oil on the top and 1\4 cup of water. Cover the pan tightly and put it in the oven on 400 f for an hour. Uncover and transfer it to the top rack to broil for 10 more minutes.

Serve it with your kind of bread (we like it with pita) or with side of white rice.