Persian Eggplant and Okra Stew

The cool summer wreaked havoc on my tomatoes and okra; I had a harvest, but it was very small.  It totally destroyed my eggplants, I did not even get one.  I was so looking forward to trying this recipe, but kept waiting to see if I would get enough okra.  Finally, I decided to supplement both the okra and the eggplant with ones local farmers had better luck with than I did.


Taste-wise, this is very similar to my Khoresh Bademjun – Eggplant Stew.  But the approach and texture is different.  This is more like the Khoresh Bademjun my sister-in-law makes.  I liked this, a lot.  I think I prefer mine, but when I want a change of pace, I will definitely come back to this approach.


Persian Eggplant and Okra Stew

from Turmeric and Saffon

1 1/2 pound meat (lamb or beef), washed, trimmed and cubed
8 small size eggplants, peeled, leave whole or cut in half
1 pound okra, wash and trim the top
1-2 large tomatoes, skin removed and finely diced (from the garden)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (from the garden)
2-3 freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of red pepper *optional
Salt and pepper to taste


Place peeled eggplants in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them drain for a couple of hours before cooking.

Heat 1/2 a cup of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and fry the eggplants until golden brown. Remove and place fried eggplants on a paper towel.


In the same skillet fry okra in 2-3 tablespoons of oil on medium heat until lightly brown. Set aside.


In a large stew pot saute the chopped onions on medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir well, add the minced garlic and saute for another few minutes.

Add the meat, salt, pepper and brown the meat on all sides.


Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and add enough water to cover the meat by a couple of inches. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for an hour on medium-low heat or until the meat is tender.


Add the lime juice to the stew, stir and gently place the fried eggplants and okra in the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. Add a little more water if necessary. Cover and simmer for another 30-40 minutes on low heat.


To serve, gently spoon the stew in a large serving bowl. Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6





Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Okra, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes | 1 Comment

Zucchini & Okra Frittata

The okra has started producing. I am especially happy about that this year; for a while I thought I would have no okra crop. Why? Well, I planted the okra in two places in the garden and they started coming up very nicely. That was before I left on vacation in June. When I came home, my daughter, who diligently took care of the garden, was also very diligent in pulling weeds. A little too diligent… no more okra. 😦

I was heart-broken. I had never seen okra plants at a garden center; I have always grown it from seed. But to my surprise, a few weeks later, when I was looking for plants to fill in some holes left by my early crops, I found 4 okra seedlings! They looked sickly, but they were okra! So, I bought them, planted them and although they are not the strongest plants I have grown, they are doing OK and starting to bear fruit. So, I have my okra, and I am happy.  Now to combine them with zucchini, jalapeño, and some red onion for a delicious frittata.


I am also happy because Cam finally wanted to help cook again!  He wanted to be responsible for the eggs, so his cooking adventures continue…


The outcome…a beautiful fluffy frittata.


Zucchini and Okra Frittata

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 to 1/2 lb okra, sliced (from the garden)

1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, cored, seeded and thinly sliced (from the garden)

1/2 small red onion, sliced

1 medium zucchini, sliced

Kosher salt

8 eggs (from Farmer Kim)


In a cast iron or nonstick 12 inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Cook okra, jalapeño and onion until tender, about 5 minutes.


Heat Broiler.

Add zucchini to the skillet and cook until tender – between 5 and 7 minutes.  Season with salt.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs, adding 1/2 tsp salt.  Pour into the skillet with the vegetables.


Cook until the sides are beginning to set, about 3 minutes or so.20130909-093541.jpg

Place the skillet in the oven and broil until the frittata is just cooked through and the stop starts to turn golden brown., about 2 to 3 minutes.  Do not overcook.


Remove from oven and serve.  Enjoy!


Serves 4.

Categories: Breakfast, Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Kosher, Main Dish, Okra, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 4 Comments

A Double Dose of Indian: Bhindi (Okra) & Gobi Mattar (Cauliflower and Peas)

Ode to Okra #3 is an Indian preparation – so simple and oh, so good.  But we don’t eat that alone, there is typically another dish with it; one of my favorites is cauliflower and peas.  Normally the okra would be from my garden, but given the poor harvest, I did not have enough to use my own this time.  So these dishes were made with locally grown okra and cauliflower, and peas from Farmer Kim that I had frozen earlier in the spring.

The okra can either be sliced length-wise or into rounds.  I have done it both ways, but today I did rounds.

For the cauliflower dish, the cooking time can really vary based on the size of the cauliflower pieces you use. I have had it take as long as 50 minutes, but tonight it was 20 minutes.  The key is to periodically stir and check the dish while it is cooking.

Bhindi (Okra)

(adapted from allrecipes.com)

3 Tbsp butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 pound okra, sliced

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp salt

In a large skillet (with a lid), melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the okra and seasonings.

Cook and stir for a few minutes, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finish off over medium-high heat, stirring, for a few minutes.

Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Gobi Mattar (Cauliflower & Peas)

(adapted from Pamela Grau Twena’s The Sephardic Table)

1/4 cup canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp parsley, chopped (from the garden)

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/8 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp turmeric

dash of pepper

1 large cauliflower, broken into florets

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas (formFarmer Kim)

In a large cooks pan or pot with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add the garlic, parsley, and spices, cook for 3 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the cauliflower and peas.

Cover, reduce heat to low ad cook for 20-50 minutes, stirring every so often, until the cauliflower is tender.

Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Main Dish, Okra, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Ode to Okra, part 2 – Pan-Seared Okra and Corn


Because of the damage from the caterpillars (at least I think that is who ate the leaves), I lost most of my okra plants. So the harvest is slow, although ‘pitiful’ may be the better term.  But I finally have enough to do some pan-searing, so I made a half-recipe.  When I have more okra, I often do this without the corn, but it is great both ways.

This dish was a real surprise when I first made it last year.  Even Cam (2 years old at the time) loved the pan-seared okra – he once ate the bowl containing all 3 servings before anyone else could get to it!  A toddler scarfing down okra, who would have thought?

Pan-Seared Okra and Corn

1/2 pound okra (from the garden)

2 cups corn, cut from the cob – Since I did not have fresh cobs, I used some of my previously frozen corn.

1 Tbsp olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Cut the okra – I like lengthwise for this recipe.

Combine okra and corn in a bowl.  Toss with oil, salt and pepper.

Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat.  When hot add the okra and corn (leave any excess oil in the bowl). Cook without stirring for 3 minutes, then stir, flipping okra.

Cook for another 3-4 minutes, til well seared. Remove to a serving bowl and adjust seasoning.  Enjoy!

Serves 4


Categories: Kosher, Okra, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Ode to Okra, part 1 – Cornmeal Crusted Okra


Growing up in New York City, I never even heard of okra.  When I first started experimenting with cooking in college, I was home and wanted to make a brunswick stew, which called for okra. So I asked my mother what okra was, she shrugged and said, dismissively, “some southern vegetable, we don’t use it.”

Fast forward 20 years to my living in southern Delaware – the Northern South.  Somehow I ended up with okra seeds, so I planted them in my garden to see what would happen.  I was rewarded with hibiscus-like “trees” growing in my garden!

Although I still did not know what to do with okra, I kept planting it just for the aesthetic of the plant.

In the past few years I have discovered 3 distinct ways of cooking okra that I love:

  • Pan-seared
  • Indian – Bindi Chamatkar
  • Cornmeal-crusted

This is my first installment of Ode to Okra – one of my favorite vegetables…

Cornmeal Crusted Okra

1 lb okra (from the garden)

1 egg (from Farmer Kim)

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

safflower oil

Slice okra into about 1/2 ” pieces.

Beat egg in a shallow bowl.  In a second shallow bowl, mix cornmeal, parmesan, cayenne and salt.

Working in batches (it took about 5 batches to do 1 lb), dip okra in egg, toss to coat.

Remove from egg and toss in cornmeal mixture to coat.  Shake off excess.

Cover the bottom of a large skillet with safflower oil, about 1/4 inch deep.  Heat over medium-high heat.  Add okra.  Do not overcrowd the pan (thus the 5 batches).  cook about 2 – 3 minutes, toss to flip the pieces and cook on the other side for anothe 2 minutes, til golden.  Add more oil between batches, if necessary.  Bring it back up to heat before adding the okra.

Drain on paper towels.

Serve family style and enjoy!

Serves 4 (but I have to admit I can eat the whole batch myself!)


Categories: Kosher, Okra, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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