Braised okra with tomatoes

Okra is often combined with tomatoes and coriander in various parts of the Mediterranean. In Lebanon and most of the Middle East it's known as 'bamia'. I grew up eating it in Lebanon with or without meat and served with rice.

In many parts of the world it is eaten in many different ways like stir fried, cooked in meat stew, pickled, with rice, deep fried, cooked in soups, and even raw with a dip.

Popular in the South, okra is becoming increasingly common in supermarkets and grocers all over the world. This small green pod is known as a key ingredient in the thick piquant soup called gumbo.

Okra's flavor and texture are unique. Its taste falls somewhere between that of eggplant and asparagus, and it marries well with other vegetables, particularly tomatoes. Not everyone finds this texture pleasing, but cooking the vegetable quickly will reduce the gumminess, allowing okra to be enjoyed as a stew or as side dish.

Frozen okra makes a substitute for fresh when used in soups and stews. I always buy frozen baby okras from a Turkish grocer not far from where we live.

If you are cooking fresh okra, trim just the barest slice from the stem end and tip, without piercing the internal capsule; prepared this way, the juices won't be released and the okra won't become gummy.

Ingredients (serves 4):
1½ lb (750g) frozen okra baby beans
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, finely chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
½ cup tomato passata (tomato puree)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp dried coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of cumin
pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions, garlic cloves and fresh coriander. Add the okra and sauté for about 5 to 7 mn stirring often. Add tomatoes, tomato passata, black pepper, allspice, salt, cumin, cinnamon, dried coriander and lemon juice. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until okras are tender. Serve with pita bread or with rice.

Gombos aux tomates
Ingrédients (4 personnes):
750g de gombos surgelés
3 tomates, pelées coupées en dés
1 oignon, haché
5 gousses d’ail émincées
½ bouquet de coriandre fraîche ciselée
10 cl de coulis de tomates
1 càc de sel
½ càc quatre-épices
½ càc de coriandre sèche
1/4 càc de poivre noir
pincée de cumin
pincée de cannelle
2 càs de jus de citron
3 càs d'huile d'olive

Faites chauffer l'huile dans une casserole, et faites revenir l'oignon, l'ail et la coriandre fraîche. Ajoutez les gombos et faites revenir 5 à 7 mn en remuant de temps en temps. Ajoutez les tomates, le coulis de tomates, le poivre, les quatre-épices, le sel, le cumin, la cannelle, la coriandre sèche et le jus de citron. Recouvrez d'eau jusqu'à hauteur. Portez à ébullition puis baissez le feu et laissez mijoter jusqu'à ce que les gombos soient tendres. Servez avec du pain pita ou avec du riz.


  1. Never had okra with tomatoes together...looks very delicious.

  2. That is a wonderful dish! I have never cooked okra...



  3. This looks like it would be really good with rice. But I don't know what passata is. Would it be something like tomato sauce?

  4. Chicho....this looks delicious! I have a long time I do not cook this, but now I want some. It goes well with rice, but I also love it with batata, it like a sweet potato.

  5. Hi Cherine, your pictures look awesome, very appetizing. Okra brings me a lot of memories, it's my mother's favorite. But when I was a kid I hated it and gave her a lot of aggravation. Only later I went back to it and realized what a fool I was, it's a very yummy veggie.

  6. Romaine, tomato passata is a tomato puree!!

  7. Hi! I haven't tried okra much but I went and got some the other day! This recipe looks so wonderful! I will have to try it.

  8. hmmmm que ça a l'air bon, à saucer sans modération!

  9. I love okra. It's nice to know another great recipe to cook okra.

  10. I still haven't had okra! I really would love to try it. You make it look and sound very delicious. Thanks for the tips on preventing the slime!

  11. j'adore l'okra, aussi surprenant que ca puisse paraitre, et cette recette me plait beaucoup! Bien cuisine c'est delicieux!

  12. I love okra too. Such an amazing texture and it's just made to be paired with tomato!

  13. This looks like an interesting okra dish...ive nevr cooked okra with a tomato puree b4..always something new learnt everyday.tq

    btw I like the last foto... its beautiful! :))

  14. I live in the South-Eastern part of the USA, where okra is very popular...fried! I love the idea of this flavorful and healthy preparation. It looks so warm and comforting!

  15. I love okra and your dish looks really good. I'll have to try it.

  16. This is quite new to mean. I find all new things intriguing and now I'm curious as to how this would taste. There's only one way to solve that. I'll be on the next plane. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  17. Chico, love this dish as it reminds me of the Greek dish, just that we add some allspice berries. A good vegetarian meal.

  18. I've actually never cooked with okra before, for fear of their fabled "slime"... But this looks fantastic! Perhaps will be the recipe to change all that for me. :)

  19. ...your okra and tomatoes remind me of yummy gumbo...normally I just steam okra and dip it in lemon and fish sauce

  20. hey wow yummy one...loved the color of it...nice post....

  21. Okra is very popular in Indian dishes too. I love okra with some diced up tomatoes, but I bet this very tomatoey version is delicious too. It reminds me of the flavors of a gumbo. I'm definitely looking forward to finding okra at the farmers markets here.

  22. Never had them in tomatoes--this is an interesting way to cook them! As a matter of fact, I have only had them fried. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  23. I have to admit that I've only ever eaten okra fried. Which is fantastic. But this dish looks wonderful! I'm going to have to frind some okra (not all that easy here, but I'm determined). Yum!

  24. I grew up eating okra, too, but sadly my husband doesn't like it. This looks great, though. I'll have to wait until he's out of town to try it.

    I gave you the Sunshine Award, by the way, since I like your blog so much! :-)

  25. Wonderful post Chicho! The photos look scrumptious and succulent!

  26. Cherine, I haven't cooked okra since we moved to your dish, easy and to flavorful. Great pictures as always :-)

  27. Je découvre ton magnifique blog, que de belles et délicieuses recettes ! J'ai testé les gombos il y a quelques mois j'ai bien aimé ! Faudrait que j'en rachète pour essayer ta version :)

  28. I have been wanting to try okra and this looks like a tasty way to get into it.

  29. I just made this for dinner tonight since we had some okra from the farmer's market. It was so delicious! Thank you! I can't wait to try more recipes from your blog. My husband is Turkish so he loves these kinds of vegetable dishes. I can't wait to make this for his grandma - she is Georgian and loves cilantro in the stews.

  30. Thanks for another Delicious Recipe.
    I would like to eat , I love the tomatoes in sauce because the flavor is really wonderful, I love also the pastas!22dd
    WOW! it look delicious.Happy Thanksgiving!


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