Okra and tomatoes prepared Mediterranean-style with onions, garlic, hot peppers, warm spices and a splash of lime juice. This quick-cooked vegan okra stew is the perfect combination of savory, tangy, and just a little bit spicy. You will find fresh okra and a wide selection of tomatoes at the market this week!
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped (1 cup chopped onion)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 small green chiles such as jalapeno chopped
- 1 lb fresh cut okra sliced into rounds (or small whole okra, trimmed)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp coriander
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 ½ cup crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- 1 tomato sliced into rounds
- Juice of ½ lime more to your liking
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (or pan with a lid) over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic and chopped jalapeno peppers. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes stirring regularly (do not let the garlic burn, if needed adjust heat).
Add the okra and sautee for 5 to 7 minutes over medium-high heat. Season with kosher salt, black pepper and spices. Toss to coat.
Add the crushed tomatoes and water. Stir to combine. Add the tomato slices on top. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cover most of the way (leave a little opening at the top). Let the okra simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the okra has softened. Uncover and add juice of ½ lime (more to your liking).
Remove from heat and serve over rice or with warm pita bread.
Tips to reduce slime when cooking okra
- Use smaller okra pods. If you’re buying fresh okra at the farmers’ market, select the smaller pods which will be less slimy.
- Keep the okra pods intact. In this recipe, I use cut okra sliced into rounds. But you can work with the pods intact; just give them a trim but do not slice them up.
- Sauté the okra before adding the tomatoes. This recipe calls for sautéing the okra for 5 to 7 minutes over medium-high heat. The brief high heat cooking will give a bit of a crisp good and control the slime a bit.
- Cook quickly. Another benefit of keeping the meat out of this recipe is that I can cook my okra and tomatoes quickly (25 minutes) rather than a long-cooked, gooey stew.
- Add citrus. The acid of lime or lemon juice will help the texture by counteracting the slimness a bit.