Sauteed Okra With Garlic Chili Sauce
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!
Lately, I have been interested in it because of its many health benefits. I have started to appreciate vegetables and enjoy finding new and creative ways to eat them. I planted a few seeds in the garden this season, and so far, so good. Okra is a beautiful plant with heart-shaped leaves. In fact, some English-speaking countries refer to it as 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.
To make this recipe, I sauté the okra on high heat with some onion, then add a sizzling hot garlic chili sauce. You can decide how many peppers you can handle and adjust the amount you use accordingly. Once my husband and I tried this sauteed okra dish, we just couldn’t put the fork down. I hope you try my recipe and ultimately decide that you love okra too!
What Is Okra?
Okra is a vegetable that is shaped like green seed pods. Whether you like it or not, it has a reputation for its slimness. The sliminess deters most people from cooking it; however, it can be very delicious depending on the cooking method.
Bamia is the Arabic name for okra, and the vegetable is very popular in Middle Eastern cooking. The okra is mainly fried and then added to a tomato stew. The okra stew was one of my dad’s favorite dishes! In the United States, it is commonly used in southern states. They tend to eat deep-fried okra, and it can also be found in Creole Gumbo and Cajun cooking.
Is Bamia Healthy?
Yes, okra is incredibly healthy. It is a vegetable that is rich in fiber and protein while also low in calories. It is also packed with nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins C, B, and magnesium. Okra can be prepared in many ways, and it has plenty of health benefits, including its ability to improve heart and brain health.
How to Pick The Best Okra?
Buying the best, freshest of this vegetable can make a significant difference in the taste of the dish. When buying, look for tender smaller pods that are bright green. Try to avoid if it has brown spots. If they have brown spots, it tends to mean that they are drying out. Smaller ones are better since the skin is not as thick, and the seeds won’t be as large.
It freezes well, so you can also buy a lot of them while they are in season. Just wash them thoroughly and make sure they are very dry before putting them in a freezer bag and storing them in the freezer.
|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|