4 Ways to Cook Okra: Zambian Food

Okra, also known as lady’s finger is a unique and versatile vegetable that is popular in many cultures around the world. It is also popular among Zambian vegetables and is a part of traditional Zambian cuisine. It can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. In this article, we will explore 4 common ways to cook okra in Zambia.

Okra with Soda

Boiled okra with soda. Zambian food

Boiling okra with soda is a popular recipe. This method is simple and easy to execute, and it results in tender and slimy yet flavorful dish that pairs well with nshima and other dishes such as beans and Kapenta.

To prepare it this way, start by rinsing, trimming the ends of the pods and slicing the okra. Put it in a pot with some water, tomato, a little soda and salt and bring to a boil.

Stir when it starts to rise to the top so that it does not overflow. To avoid the okra from the breaking apart, stir by shaking the pot and not with a cooking stick.

When the okra and the tomato are cooked, it is ready to serve. You can find the full recipe here.


Fried okra. Zambian food

Frying is another recipe that results in a flavorful dish. To fry okra, start by rinsing and slicing the pods into round slices. Add some cooking oil on a pan, and after it heats, add the okra with some salt.

Fry until is it is no longer very slimy and the add tomatoes and onions to it. When the tomatoes are cooked, it is ready to serve.

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It can be enjoyed with nshima and any other dish like grilled fish and grilled chicken. You can find the recipe here.

Dried Okra Recipe

Dried okra. Zambian food

Drying is a common way to preserve this nutritious vegetable. It can later be cooked and enjoyed with nshima. You can find dried one being sold at local markets.

To prepare it, it has to be pounded and sieved, the cooked with groundnuts. The recipe can be found here. It is such a flavorful traditional Zambian dish.

With Groundnut Powder

Fresh okra can also be prepared with groundnut (peanut) powder. The peanut powder adds flavor and protein to the dish.

It is also a tasty dish that can be enjoyed with nshima. It is a type of ifisashi and is called “delele yakusashila”.

These are the common ways to cook okra in Zambia. There could be more and I will surely write about them later as I discover them.