By: Mrs. Soheila Amiri(3-6 servings.)
1 pound fresh okras
1/2 pound stew meat cubed
4 Oz of Tomato Paste or
8 Oz of Tomato sauce
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic
1 tablespoon turmeric (Zard Choobeh)
3 tablespoons cooking oil
salt and pepper
Cut off the stems of the okras, wash and drain them. In a medium size pot, fry the onions in oil over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Add the meat, salt, pepper and turmeric, stir, and let it cook for a few minutes. Occasionally stir so it doesn't stick to the pot. Add the tomato sauce/paste, stir and let it cook over medium-low heat. If you use tomato paste, dilute it in hot water before adding it in.
Depending on the toughness of the meat you use, it may take as much as an hour for the meat to soften. Occasionally, put a sharp knife in one of the pieces to see if it has softened. In the process, you may have to add more tomato sauce and/or water to stop the sauce mixture from thickening.
When the meat has softened, give the mixture one last vigorous stir and put the okras on top. With a knife make a few holes into the garlic clove (unpeeled), and put it in one corner of the pot so that later it could be retrieved. Let it cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the okras have lost their green color.
If you get to pick the okras at the market, select the smallest ones. Okras tend to get tougher as they get bigger. The pre-cut, frozen okras could be used if all else fails.
When you are cutting the stems, try not to cut into the pods themselves. Otherwise, you are going to end up with a gooey mess.
For the health conscious who doesn't want to use red meat, you can use the same recipe with chicken breast.
If you're in a hurry, and have a pressure cooker handy, put the(red) meat in the cooker with a medium onion cut in large pieces and a bit of salt, pepper and turmeric, add water and let it cook for about 5-10 minutes.
Then take the meat out and drain it. Add it the same way as fresh meat to the fried onions and follow the recipe from that point on.
Also, make sure you take out the clove of garlic before serving.Otherwise, the poor sole who ends up eating it accidentally, may suffer sever consequences the next day at work :).
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