Okra (Bamya) Stew

Fresh okra

Here is a wonderful recipe to serve during Lent, or anytime.  Not into okra? You can substitute your favorite in-season vegetable. Zucchini, green beans or eggplant work well in this recipe, too. (Note: if you use zucchini, you won’t have to cook it as long as the recipe states.)

Okra Stew
Yield: 4 servings

1 onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 lb. bag of frozen okra (whole or cut), or fresh okra, tips trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups tomato sauce, or 14.5 oz. can, diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of freshly ground coriander seed
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup loosely-packed cilantro leaves

1. Heat the oil in a deep skillet; saute the chopped onion, stirring occasionally, until golden. 
2. Add the frozen (or fresh) okra to the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes), lemon juice, ground coriander, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove cover for the last five to ten minutes of cooking to allow some of the liquid to evaporate.
4. Serve hot or at room temperature. Goes well with pita bread or your preferred dipping bread.

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