Sauteed Okra with Garlic Chili Sauce - A Healthy Mediterranean Recipe"
I have never been a big fan of okra, even though it’s one of those common ingredients used in Middle Eastern cooking. My mom used to cook it a lot. When it was in season, she would buy a few boxes at a time, clean them, fry them, then freeze them to use in the off-season!
I have been interested in it lately because of its many health benefits. I have started to appreciate vegetables and enjoy finding new and creative eating methods. I planted a few seeds in the garden this season, and so far, so good. Okra is a beautiful plant with heart-shaped leaves. Some English-speaking countries call it ladies’ fingers since its seeds are shaped like fingers.
I have always used a recipe my mom used to make bamia with lamb and tomato sauce , and my husband loves it. But I wanted to do something different with this healthy vegetable. That’s when I created this sauteed okra recipe. It is almost an Asian-style recipe with garlic chili sauce.
I sauté the okra on high heat with some onion to make this recipe, then add a sizzling hot garlic chili sauce. You can decide how many peppers you can handle and adjust the amount you use. Once my husband and I tried this sauteed okra dish, we couldn’t put the fork down. I hope you try my recipe and ultimately decide that you love okra too!
Table of Contents
What Is Okra?
Okra is a unique vegetable with long green seed pods that give it a distinctive shape. Despite its reputation for being slimy, it can be delicious if cooked properly. Many people shy away from cooking with Okra because of its sliminess, but it’s worth trying. You might be surprised by how much you like it!
In Middle Eastern cuisine, Okra is known as “bamia” and is a staple ingredient in many dishes. It’s typically fried before being added to a savory tomato stew. My dad loved this okra stew, and I still remember the aroma that filled our home whenever he cooked it. In the Southern United States, Okra is a common ingredient in dishes like deep-fried Okra, Creole Gumbo, and Cajun cooking. So, next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to experiment with Okra and discover new flavors!
Is Bamia Healthy?
Yes, Okra is a highly nutritious vegetable that offers numerous health benefits. It is a rich source of dietary fiber, which helps to maintain healthy digestion. Okra is also a good source of plant-based protein, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. It is also low in calories, making it an ideal option for those looking to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
Corporating Okra into your diet can have numerous health benefits, including improving heart and brain health. Okra’s high fiber content can help reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and improve cardiovascular health. Additionally, the nutrients in Okra, such as vitamin B6 and folic acid, can help to improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
How to Store and Freeze Okra?
To make the most of Okra’s nutritional benefits and unique texture, it’s essential to know how to freeze and store it properly. To start, choose fresh, unblemished okra pods that are firm to the touch. Wash the pods thoroughly in cool water and trim the stem ends, careful not to cut into the pod.
1- One easy way to freeze Okra is to blanch it first. To do this, boil a large pot of water and add the okra pods. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes, then remove them with a slotted spoon and immediately place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Once the Okra is cooled, drain it well and pat it dry with paper towels. Transfer the Okra to a resealable plastic bag, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing it. Label the bag with the date and place it in the freezer.
2- Another option is to freeze Okra without blanching it. This method is quicker, but the Okra may not retain its color or texture. Wash and dry the okra pods, trim the stem ends, and place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once the Okra is frozen solid, transfer it to a resealable plastic bag and store it in the freezer. Again, be sure to label the bag with the date.
When it comes to storage, frozen Okra can last for up to 12 months if it’s properly sealed and stored at 0°F (-18°C) or lower. To thaw frozen Okra, place it in the refrigerator overnight or run it under cool water for a few minutes. Avoid using hot water or a microwave, as this can cause the Okra to become mushy.
Following these simple tips, you can enjoy Okra’s flavor and nutritional benefits long after it’s out of season.
In a medium pan, add two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat, and sauté for about two minutes. Then add the okra. Sprinkle the cumin, salt, and pepper. Sauté until tender, about 20 minutes,
Make the chili sauce in a separate small pan by adding 3 tablespoons of olive oil and bring it to high heat. Add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds and toast for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring them to sizzle. Then pour it over the cooked okra.
Toss all together and enjoy!
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This recipe is a savory and flavorful dish that combines the unique taste of okra with aromatic spices and herbs. It can be served as a side dish or a main course and is perfect for those looking for a healthy and delicious meal. This recipe is a great addition to any meal plan with its simple ingredients and easy preparation.
|1 lb small okra (top cut and cut into about ½ inch in length)|
|1 medium-size onion (chopped)|
|1 teaspoon cumin|
|1 teaspoon salt|
|½ teaspoon black pepper|
|2 tablespoons olive oil|
For the chili sauce:
|6 cloves garlic (minced)|
|½ Chimayo red pepper (diced)|
|½ jalapeno pepper (diced)|
|¼ cup chopped cilantro|
|¼ teaspoon red chili flakes|
|1 teaspoon cumin seeds|
|1 teaspoon coriander seeds|
|2 tablespoons lemon juice|
Recipe Tips & Suggestions
Some serving suggestions and dishes that go well with okra:
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
See our full nutrition disclosure here.
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