There are so many reasons to eat fresh and local. Eating food in season reduces the energy needed to put food on your plate (less CO2 emissions and less food miles), plus it supports our local economy. But the main reason is taste – it’s fresher, tastier and better for you! Our January harvest included fresh, organic chives, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, okra, basil, radishes, snake beans, eggplants…
Why not try … Okra
Scientific name: ‘Abelmoschus esculentus’ and also ‘Hibiscus esculentus’. Also goes by: many names including ladies’ fingers, bamia, ochro, gumbo, Quimgombo, Quingumbo, bendi, Kopi Arab, Kacang Bendi, Bhindi. Hails from: disputed origins – Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Asia. Tastes: lemony. Cooking styles: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Asian. Nutrients: calcium, phosphorous Vitamin A, iron, fibre, Vitamin B6, folic acid…the verdict: versatile vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked, whole or sliced – it can also be used as a natural thickening agent in soups, curries, braises or stews.
Middle Eastern stew of lamb & baby Okra
- 1 tablespoon of ghee (use butter and oil as subsitute if unavailable)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 500 grams thickly cubed lamb
- 800 grams tinned tomatoes
- 1 table spoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of coriander powder (omit spices if unavailable)
- salt and pepper
- 250 ml stock or water
- 500 grams baby okra, topped and tailed
- Juice of one lemon
- Fresh coriander if available
- Trim the baby okras and wash in cold water and then place in a colander to drain.
- In a large saucepan, heat the ghee/oil or butter and add in the meat in batches and brown on all sides.
- Add the crushed garlic and chopped onions to the meat and sauté till brown.
- Add tomatoes, mash or stir until softened, then add tomato paste and spices. Season well.
- Add the stock or water (meat should be covered – if not add a little more.
- Add trimmed Okra & bring to boil, then cover and simmer for around two hours or until the meat is tender.
- Add lemon juice and chopped coriander, gently stir and simmer for another 5 minutes taking care not to mash the okras.
- Serve with rice
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