vegetarian curried okra (why) stew, (because) it’s a good thing!

i’m still wondering why i bought the okra at the store. it was calling to me, but i’ve never been a big fan. growing up, my face would fall every time they’d announce we were having the famous “bamieh” stew (persian beef stew with okra and tomatoes). i always liked the smell it created in the house…it was warm and welcoming, and i wanted so much to like it-but there was something about the texture. so i would eat the sauce with my rice, and skip the okra. this time, when it called me to it at the produce section, i realized i was craving it-and that seemed strange, but i think what i may have been craving was the feeling you get as a child when you are safe at home and the smell of food (particularly a stew) cooking surrounds you like a warm blanket. for some reason, okra stew is that kind of a meal for me. i wish you could smell it cooking right now…we can’t wait to eat it! instead of the traditional “bamieh” stew, i decided on a curried vegetarian stew served with brown basmati rice, and in order to avoid the “gooey” texture, i sliced the okra in rounds…tested one just now, and it is delicious-i think i’m becoming a fan!!

  • 10-15 med/large okra, cut in 1/2 inch thick rounds
  • 1 medium organic onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper de-seeded (optional for spicy)
  • 3 medium organic yellow potatoes peeled & diced
  • 2 ripe large tomatoes, diced
  • small bunch of organic cilantro (leaves for topping)
  • 1-2 tsp virgin unfiltered coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp good curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
1. heat the oil in a deep skillet, add onions, garlic, and turmeric and sautee for 2 minutes, then add okra, sea salt, and jalapeno pepper and sautee for another 2 minutes before adding the curry powder.
2. sautee (brown) for another minute or two, adding a few drops of water if the pan gets sticky (which it will).
3. add the potatoes, tomatoes, water, and coconut milk, stir well, bring heat to med/low, cover partially with a lid, and allow the stew to simmer on low heat for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. you have to try this dish to believe how delicious and satisfying (and simple to prepare) it is.
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