It is that odd little vegetable that most people don’t seem to know what to do with. In the southeastern United States, we put it in gumbo or breaded and fried. As a kid, I loved going to restaurants in South Carolina or Georgia, where I would pile my plate high with fried okra and mashed potatoes. In Persian cuisine, it is cooked in a stew of beef, tomatoes, potatoes, and onion. This is probably one of the most simple dishes to make, and I make it often.
Some people don’t like the consistency of okra…well, not much I can do about that! I try not to overcook the okra (I put it in at the very end), so it isn’t quite so slimy. Here is my recipe for khoresht-e bamieh. It serves about5 people, since I really only know how to cook for a family.
1 onion, diced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 small can tomato paste (several tablespoons)
1 pound cubed beef
1 package of frozen okra, or 1/2 pound fresh okra
1 teaspoon tumeric
If you have a slow cooker, just throw all of the ingredients in except for the okra, let it cook overnight, and then put the okra in for the last hour. If not, it takes a few more steps:
Fry onions, meat, and spices on low heat with a little bit of oil and water for about 40 minutes, until browned. In a separate pot, boil the potatoes at the same time. Combine all ingredients in pot and cook for another hour.
Eat as a stew by itself, or over rice.