Ghanaian okra stew
Okra is a common west African ingredient and one I use in my restaurant kitchen as well as at home. When I started Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, I looked for new ways to incorporate this unique vegetable into dishes. Okra stew is one of my absolute favourites and one of the most traditional Ghanaian dishes I cook.
Fairtrade ingredients: peanuts, curry powder, chilli, ginger. Taste the good: Fairtrade peanut farmers in Nicaragua used their Fairtrade Premium to equip themselves with new skills and tools to make handicrafts, bringing in vital additional income.
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200ml sustainable red palm oil or carotene oil (can also use coconut oil, rapeseed or sunflower oil)
2 medium red onions, finely diced
1 tsp Fairtrade chilli powder
1 tsp extra hot Fairtrade curry powder
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped or grated
7.5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely grated (unpeeled if organic)
1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chilli, deseeded and diced
1 tbsp tomato purée
250ml good-quality vegetable stock
750g ripe plum tomatoes, cubed or blended
1 tsp cooking salt
500g okra, trimmed and sliced
Chopped coriander and sliced anaheim chillies, to garnish
Heat the oil on low-medium heat until melted (palm oil has a low smoke point, so be careful not to let it burn), add the onion and sauté gently for a few minutes until translucent. Add the spices, garlic, ginger and Scotch bonnet and stir well, then sauté for a further 5 minutes.
Add the tomato purée, stirring well, then pour in the vegetable stock to deglaze the pan. Reduce the heat to low, then add the tomatoes and salt, cover and simmer for 25 minutes until they start to lose their tartness.
Add the sliced okra to the pot with 150ml water, stir though once or twice. Replace the lid and simmer for a further 15-20 minutes until the okra is just tender. Season to taste. Serve with fried plaintain, if liked.
This dish is traditionally served in a bowl with banku on a side plate along with a finger bowl.
Recipe by Zoe Adjonyoh, chef, writer and founder of Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen