Okra is a common vegetable in almost all parts of the world. it is a very healthy vegetable and very tasty.African and Indian cuisine has plenty variety of raw okra recipes both dry and fresh. Today i will be sharing a dry okra recipe that is common in Zambia. this is one dish I enjoyed very much growing up. But first let us discuss a few things about okra.
- Nutritional Benefits of Okra
- How to dry Okra
- Common Okra Recipes (Zambian style)
- Dry Okra Recipe (Zambian style)
Nutritional Benefits of Okra
According to a Medical News Today article, Okra provides some iron, niacin, phosphorus, and copper. The individual needs for nutrients vary according to age, sex, activity level, and caloric intake. It is also a source of antioxidants. Okra seeds contain oligomeric catechins and flavonoid derivatives, both of which have been linked to a lower risk of cancer.
2. How to dry Okra
Drying okra makes it even more nutritious. The process begins by selecting your okra by picking only the tender pieces and then rinsing them several times in fresh running water to remove debris and dirt. You can then slice off the cap end and the black spot on the bottom. Slice into round pieces about ¼ to ½ inch thick into a clean dry bowl. The okra may feel slimy to touch but that is normal, there is no need to rinse it again.
After rinsing, load the okra pieces onto dehydrator trays, leaving some space between the pieces. They will dry to about half their original size so it is not critical to be perfect with the spacing.
Yo can also sun dry the pieces on a kitchen tray if you do not have a dehydrator.
3. Common Okra Recipes
There are different ways to cook okra Zambian style. Some of my favorite raw okra recipes can be found here and here. in Zambia, okra is called Delele in Cinyanja language. It is important to note that ‘Delele’ can be used to refer to other types of vegetables that are mucilaginous or slimy in nature. The different varieties of Delele include names such as Katate, Tindingoma etc. most of these are leaf -like and not contained in pods like the common okra.
4. Dry Okra Recipe (Zambian style)
If you have cooked okra before, you know of its slimy nature. The dried one is not any different, only before cooking it is very hard and crunchy. This dry okra recipe is mom-taught recipe that combines the deliciousness of dried okra with the yumminess of powdered groundnuts. So without further ado, let’s get into it;
What you will need
- 1 cup of dried okra (cut in slices or broken to reduce its size)
- 1 cup of powdered groundnuts
- 1 medium sized tomato (grated)
- ¾ teaspoon of cooking soda
- 2 cups of water
- A mortar and pestle for preparing the okra
- A sieve
- Optional (Blender, Rolling Pin)
- Pound the dried okra using a mortar and pestle (if you do not have a mortar and pestle, you can put the okra in a bag and use a rolling pin to crush it into a powder, or you can use a blender by adding a bit of water to it and blendin it smooth. )
- Sieve out the smoother powdered okra and put back the okra in the mortar and pound again . repeat the process until the okra is completely powder.
- Put the okra powder in a pot, add a cup of water, and stir to make a paste
- Add a cup of powdered groundnuts to the mixture and stir
- Continue to add some more water to the mixture until the paste is a little light and not too thick
- Put it on the heat and stir continuously
- Add the soda and some salt and continue stirring for 20 minutes
- Add the grated tomato and stir for 20 minutes
- When the mixture gets to a nice brown color and has an inviting aroma, the dish is ready
- Serve with nshima as a side dish along with your protein dishes.
This dry okra recipe is especially tasty when served with nshima and dried fish stew. Enjoy!