Stewed Tomatoes, Okra and Onions



Fresh Okra is still available but is not quite as tender as it is in the height of the summer.  To make the most of the slightly tougher okra I like to cook it with canned stewed tomatoes and lots of onions.  Frankly, anything cooked in lots of onions will taste better.


1 big yellow onion chopped

4 cloves of garlic minced

2 15 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes

1 T. grated fresh ginger root

½ t. ground cardamom

¾ of a pound of fresh okra cleaned and cut into thirds

Dash of sugar

Salt and pepper


Spray a pot with Pam and put on a medium high heat on the stove.  Add the onions and cook for a few minutes until they get transparent, stirring to prevent sticking.  Add the garlic and cook another minute.  Add the cans of tomatoes, ginger and cardamom and cook for twenty minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.  Add the okra and 1 cup of water and cook covered for another twenty minutes.  Remove the lid and add the sugar and salt and pepper and cook uncovered until the stew gets thick, about five minutes.

You-Just-Thought-You-Hated-Okra Okra

I grew up a Yankee child of southern parents.  It was not until I went to boarding school did I learn that I actually had a Southern accent despite living in Connecticut from the age of 4.  My father taught me how to cook the way his mother had taught him so I was good at making things liked stewed tomatoes and fried chicken.


One purely southern thing my parents loved to eat was Okra, which was completely foreign in the northern climate.  The only place they could find it was in the freezer section of the Village Market.  Now frozen vegetables were a staple of our 1970’s kitchen.  I actually thought that all vegetables grew in little frozen squares.  Many frozen vegetables were okay, but not Okra.  It becomes slimy when cooked, a texture none of the kids in my family could abide.


It was not until I ate fresh Okra that I discovered the difference and learned to love it.  This recipe is so simple and healthy and not at all slimy.


As much fresh Okra as you can get your hands on (It is at the Durham farmer’s Market now through September)


Ground Coriander



Cut the big end off the okra and through it away.  Then cut each pod into ½ in disks.


Heat a skillet on Med. high heat on the stove and spray with Pam.  Put the okra in the pan and let it heat up for about 2 minutes before stirring it.  Stir it and continue cooking for about 7 minutes total.  You want the okra to start to get a little brown.  As it browns sprinkle coriander all over it.  Salt before serving.


A regular serving would be about 5 pods per person, make double.  If you live someplace you can’t get Okra come visit.