You either love okra or hate it, but this dish is sure to convert all of the okra haters, or those hesitant to try it.
The okra is baked whole with a little olive oil until it is tender. Then it is mixed in a light and fresh tomato and ginger sauce. It is a surprise – the sauce with the okra is wonderful, and the baking of the okra gives a slightly different flavour and texture to it.
This is an Ottolenghi recipe, so of course the flavours are magical. It is from his first cookbook Ottolenghi. It is an easy dish, taking 15 mins to cook once you’ve prepared the okra.
Baked Okra with Tomato and Ginger
5 Tblspn olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 knob of fresh ginger (about 12g), finely chopped
0.25 tspn dried chilli flakes, or about half the amount of chilli paste or chilli jam
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
2 tsp caster sugar, less if your tomatoes are sweet
1.5 Tblspn coriander leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 200C. To prepare the okra, take a small sharp knife and carefully shorten the stalk, then run the knife at an angle around the top edge of the okra, being careful not to cut too low – it is important not to expose the seeds.
Mix the okra with 3 Tblspn of the olive oil with some salt and pepper. Scatter in a baking tray in a single layer, place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until just tender.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes or chilli paste. Fry for a minute until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook, uncovered over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it thickens slightly.
When the okra is ready, stir it gently into the sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
This dish can be served hot or warm. If serving warm, check the seasoning again before serving.