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Okra and Eggplant--looking for a recipe

Hi all,

Bought some great eggplant and okra at my farmers market this weekend, and while eggplant is a staple for me, okra is a new venture. Any recipe ideas to combine the two? Would prefer not to use my oven, as it makes my small apartment quite warm...

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  1. We eat okra almost daily during the summer, and while I don't know of any good eggplant/okra combo recipes, I can highly recommend this easy preparation....
    Fry up a little bacon, and set the crisp bacon aside. Cook some diced onion in the grease until nice and brown, then add sliced okra and saute over high heat until the okra gets browned, about 8-10 minutes, then add chunks of fresh tomatoes, and just heat through. Crumble the bacon over the top. I suppose you could skip the bacon part, but it's sooooo good!

    Okra is one of the vegetables that needs a better press agent, it's terrific (unless you boil it!) and there are loads of good ways to prepare it. Try slicing, soak in buttermilk, dredge it in seasoned cornmeal, and fry until crispy. We eat this like popcorn!

    3 Replies
    1. re: kmr

      My husband LOVES fried okra, but we've had no luck trying to do it ourselves. The last time we did it, we prepared it exactly as described above - sliced about 1/2 inch thick, soaked in buttermilk, tossed in cornmeal...results: a mess. None of the cornmeal actually stuck to the okra. Any advice? We can't figure out what we're doing wrong.

      Regarding the original question - my first thought was also combining the two in an Indian dish. See ghbrooklyn's post below.

      1. re: Allstonian

        Allstonian - I usually toss the okra in a bag of seasoned meal, and let it set in the bag for at least 15 minutes (with an ample amount of meal, so they don't form a uni-okra blob). The coating seems to stick much better than if I get in a hurry and fry right away. I also fry in a single layer, and turn gently with a fork, rather than a spatula, over high heat in cast iron. Hope that helps, no okra lover should be deprived!

        1. re: kmr

          Tagen okra (casserole)

          Okra is the second famous vegetable in Egypt following Molokhia. It is usually cooked in a tagen, which is the Egyptian word for casserole, with lamb meat and served with plain rice or she'raya rice.
          Cuisine Egyptian
          Main ingredients Okra, Meat, Tomato paste
          Time of preparation 15 Minutes
          Time of cooking 1 Hour(s), 0 Minute(s)
          Serving 5




          Ingredients 1/2 kg Meat ,cubes (lamb, veal or beef)
          1 pack Okra
          2 tbsp Corn Oil ,(optional)
          2 tbsp Tomato Paste
          1 Chicken Stock Cubes
          1 Onion ,small size, sliced
          1 Tomato ,large size, sliced
          1 Green Pepper ,medium size, sliced
          1 Lemon ,sliced
          1/2 tsp Chili Powder
          3 Garlic Cloves ,large size, chopped
          Salt and Pepper


          Directions
          1. With a fine knife, remove a thin layer from the top of each okra forming an inverted cone. Also remove the bottom tip. Wash well under running water and drain.
          2. In a tagen (casserole), mix oil, meat, okra, tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, stock cubes, onion, salt and pepper. Add water to cover ingredients.
          3. Arrange tomato, green pepper, and lemon slices on top.
          4. Cover tagen with aluminum foil, place in oven and cook at very high heat (230-240C) for 45-50 minutes until meat is tender.
          5. Uncover tagen, turn on broiler and broil for 10 minutes.


          Tip

          In case you use lamb meat boil first for 20 minutes until semi tender before adding it to the tagen.

    2. i love grilled okra which takes out some of the "gumminess"
      grill it with a mixture of yakitori marinade - soy sauce, mirin, sake, sugar or with a teriyaki sauce. actually you can grill eggplant this way too.

      Japanese also wrap thin pancetta/bacon around okra and grill it, calling it okra-maki

      1. There are great indian recipes for okra, especially some dry-fried recipes that start with toasting spices(cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, fenugreek, etc.) and then adding the okra and just a little oil or clarified butter. You could add eggplant to this combination easily, as it also goes well with these flavors.

        1. I bought okra from an Indian grocer recently. He told me they could be sliced and stir fried with some chopped onion and garlic. Simple. I tried it and it's good. I added a bit of cumin.

          1. KMR,your recipe for okra,with bacon tomatoes and onions is one my dad would make.We would by the frozen breaded okra and fry it,but even then sometimes the coating didn't stay on.

            1. I use a recipe I got from Mark Bittman-- I slice the okra, put in a colander in the sink, sprinkle with (generous amount of) cornmeal, toss to coat. Add salt and pepper. Heat a small amount of oil in a cast iron skillet and fry till crispy. Very easy, very good.

              1. Dolma

                This dish is very well known all over the Middle East countries. It consists of several vegetables stuffed with rice. It can be served hot or cold. When you taste it, it is really worth the effort. Suitable for all occasions.
                Cuisine Other middle eastern
                Main ingredients Zucchini, Long Eggplants, Green Peppers, Tomatoes, Rice
                Time of preparation 1 Hour(s), 0 Minute(s)
                Time of cooking 1 Hour(s), 0 Minute(s)
                Serving 5




                Ingredients 1/2 kg Zucchini ,small size
                1/2 kg Green Pepper
                1/4 kg Long Eggplant ,White
                1/4 kg Long Eggplant ,Black
                1/2 kg Tomatoes ,medium size, hard
                1 Potato ,medium size, sliced
                1 Carrot ,medium size, sliced diagonally
                1 cup Parsley ,(1 large bunch) finely chopped
                1/2 kg Tomatoes ,ripe
                2 Onions ,medium size, finely chopped or grated
                2 cups Rice
                1 cup Coriander ,green coriander, finely chopped
                1/3 cup Dill ,chopped (optional)
                1 tsp Sugar
                2 tbsp Tomato Paste
                2/3 cup Corn Oil
                1 tsp Mint ,dried and ground
                Salt and Pepper

                Directions

                1. Preparing stuffing
                Wash ripe tomatoes. Dice half quantity into small dice. Blend the other half in a blender with 1⁄4 cup water.
                In a large bowl, mix parsley, coriander, dill, onions, 1 tbsp tomato paste and diced tomatoes.
                Wash rice well under running water and drain. Add to the bowl. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, 1/2 cup oil and mint. Stir all ingredients to mix well.
                2. Preparing vegetables
                Wash hard tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and peppers and cut their tops.
                Remove the insides of vegetables by holding the vegetable in your hand and pressing the tip of a sharp knife into the center of vegetables till close to the end. Make continuous circles with the knife to remove the insides of vegetables. Don't make vegeta
                3. Stuffing vegetables
                Put 1-2 tbsp of stuffing into each vegetable using your fingers. Press on stuffing in the vegetable with your small finger so that stuffing is firm inside vegetable. Don't fill the whole vegetable with stuffing to give space for rice to expand during cook
                In a deep large pan, arrange potato and carrot slices at the bottom. Arrange stuffed vegetables in a standing position in the pan with their tops facing upwards.
                4. Cooking vegetables
                In a saucepan, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add blended tomatoes, 1 tbsp salt and pepper. Leave to boil for about 10 minutes. Pour over stuffed vegetables in pan. Add water to cover 3/4 of vegetables in pan.
                Put stuffed vegetables pan over medium heat. After 10 minutes, cover, move to low heat and leave to cook for 30 minutes. If tomato sauce becomes too thick, add 1⁄2 cup boiling water.
                Take off the heat. Arrange stuffed vegetables in a platter in a nice shape with the potatoes and carrots in the center. Serve cold.

                1. Eggplant with tomatoes

                  This is a delicious dish. Eggplant is known to be a very popular appetizer especially among Middle Easterns. In this recipe, it is served like pickles.
                  Cuisine Egyptian
                  Main ingredients Eggplants, Tomatoes
                  Time of preparation 15 Minutes
                  Time of cooking 15 Minutes
                  Serving 8




                  Ingredients 2 Eggplant ,medium size
                  4 Tomatoes ,medium size
                  2 Onions ,medium size
                  2 Green Chili Pepper
                  1 tbsp Olive Oil
                  1 tsp Garlic ,crushed
                  1/2 cup Vinegar
                  Sunflower Oil ,for deep frying




                  Directions 1. Peel and slice eggplants and place in a bowl of salt and water.
                  2. Deep-fry eggplants over high heat then set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
                  3. In a skillet heat olive oil and garlic. Stir for 2 minutes until golden.
                  4. Add tomatoes, onions and chili pepper and continue stirring for another 2 minutes.
                  5. Add 1/4cup vinegar and remove from heat.
                  6. Arrange eggplant slices to form one layer on a platter; cover with tomato mixture and sprinkle with the other 1⁄4 cup vinegar.

                  1. Eggplants pickles

                    This pickle is really mouth watering, even if you have just eaten and you are full
                    Cuisine Egyptian
                    Main ingredients Eggplants, Green peppers, Garlic, Parsley
                    Time of preparation 35 Minutes
                    Time of cooking 0 Minutes
                    Serving 0
                    ! You must leave for three days before it is served.




                    Ingredients 1 kg Eggplants
                    1 Garlic ,head
                    2 Green Peppers ,cut into pieces
                    2 Green Chili Pepper ,cut into pieces
                    1 tbsp Salt
                    1 cups Vinegar
                    1 1/2 cups Water




                    Directions 1. Boil eggplant in salted water for 10-15 minutes or until tender (you can deep-fry it instead if you want).
                    2. Make a deep lengthwise cut in each eggplant from top to bottom. Put in a colander and leave to cool.
                    3. Meanwhile, in a food processor using a steel cutting blade chop garlic, peppers, chili peppers and parsley until finely chopped.
                    4. Stuff each eggplant with 2-3 tsp garlic and pepper mixture then arrange in a glass bowl vertically stuffing on top. Add vinegar.
                    5. In small bowl dissolve salt in water then add to eggplant. Cover bowl and leave in room temperature for three days before it is served.


                    Tip

                    Once you started to serve the pickles, preserve remaining in the refrigerator.

                    1. Fattah makdoussa

                      This is one of the most delicious dishes ever. It is like something artistic and incredibly delicious at the same time. Try this Lebanese dish and impress everyone who will be lucky enough to taste it.
                      Cuisine Shamy
                      Main ingredients Eggplant, Minced meat, Tomato paste, Yoghurt
                      Time of preparation 1 Hour(s), 0 Minute(s)
                      Time of cooking 1 Hour(s), 0 Minute(s)
                      Serving 6




                      Ingredients 1/2 kg Eggplants ,very small size
                      1/2 kg Minced Meat
                      2 Onions ,large size
                      1 Onion ,medium size, finely chopped
                      5 tbsp Tomato Paste Fine Foods Knorr
                      1/3 cup Lemon Juice
                      6 packs Yoghurt
                      1 tbsp Tehina
                      10 loaves Shamy Bread ,small size
                      Sunflower Oil Crystal ,for deep-frying
                      1/3 cup Corn Oil
                      1/4 cup Pine Nuts
                      1/4 cup Almonds ,blanched
                      1/2 tsp All Spices ,(optional)
                      2-3 tbsp Parsley ,chopped for garnish
                      Salt and Pepper




                      Directions 1. With kitchen scissors, cut Shamy bread into squares (3 x 3 cm). Deep-fry bread squares until just golden. Set aside.
                      2. In a bowl mix yoghurt, tehina, 3 tbsp lemon juice and salt. Set aside.
                      3. In a small pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and chopped onion until yellow. Stir in minced meat. Add salt, pepper and all spices and stir. Reduce heat, cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
                      4. Scrape out the insides of eggplant by pressing the tip of a sharp knife into the center of the eggplant till close to its end. Make continuous circles with the knife to remove the insides. Make the crust a bit thick.
                      5. Stuff eggplant with minced meat. Don't fill eggplant till the top with stuffing. In a skillet heat 2 tbsp oil and stir fry eggplants until soft. (Don't over fry).
                      6. Slice large onions vertically, then cut each slice to form onion strips. In a deep pan heat and stir 2 tbsp oil and onion until soft.
                      7. In a bowl dissolve tomato paste in 4 cups water. Add remaining lemon juice, all spices, salt and pepper and mix well then pour into pan. Bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
                      8. Add eggplants and leave to cook in tomato sauce for 10-15 minutes. Remove eggplants and set aside.
                      9. To serve: spread bread squares to cover the bottom of a glass baking dish. Add sauce gradually over bread and stir so that bread is soaked with sauce. Add yoghurt mix then arrange stuffed eggplants on top. Sprinkle fried pine nuts and almonds and garni


                      Tip

                      The whole trick in this recipe is the size of eggplants. You have to use very small size but not long eggplant. If you can't find that size, cut regular eggplants into cubes or semi circles and fry them. Arrange fried eggplant over yoghurt then add meat o

                      1. Mahshi (Stuffed vegetables)

                        Mahshi is a loved dish by all Egyptian families. It is also one of the most important side dishes in dinner gatherings. It may take time to prepare but yet it is easy to make. Impress your friends next time at diner and cook this recipe.
                        Cuisine Egyptian
                        Main ingredients Zucchini, Long Eggplant, Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Rice, Minced Meat
                        Time of preparation 45 Minutes
                        Time of cooking 45 Minutes
                        Serving 5




                        Ingredients 1/2 kg Zucchini ,medium size
                        1/2 kg Green Pepper
                        1/4 kg Long Eggplant ,white
                        1/4 kg Long Eggplant ,black
                        1/2 kg Tomatoes ,medium size, hard
                        1/4 kg Minced Meat
                        2 cups Rice
                        1 cup Parsley ,finely chopped
                        2 Onions ,medium size, finely chopped
                        1 tsp Mint ,dried and ground
                        1/2 cup Coriander , finely chopped
                        2 tbsp Tomato Paste
                        2 Chicken Stock Cubes
                        2 tbsp Margarine
                        Salt and Pepper


                        Directions

                        1. Preparing vegetables and stuffing
                        In a large bowl mix minced meat, parsley, coriander, onion, mint, margarine, salt and pepper.
                        Wash rice well, drain and add to bowl. Stir to mix all ingredients well. Taste to adjust seasoning.
                        Wash tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and peppers and cut their tops.
                        Remove the insides of vegetables by holding the vegetable in your hand and pressing the tip of a sharp knife into the center of vegetables till close to the end. Make continuous circles with the knife to remove the insides of vegetables. Don't make vegeta
                        2. Stuffing and cooking vegetables
                        Put 1-2 tbsp of stuffing into each vegetable using your fingers. Press on stuffing in the vegetable with your small finger so that stuffing is firm inside vegetable. Don't fill the whole vegetable with stuffing to give space for rice to expand during cook
                        In a large deep non-stick pan, arrange stuffed vegetables in a standing position with their tops facing upwards.
                        Dissolve stock cubes and tomato paste in 2 cups warm water and add to vegetables. Add more warm water to pan until it covers 3⁄4 of vegetables.
                        Cook over medium heat for 40-45 minutes or until rice and vegetables are done. You can add 1/2 cup boiling water if needed.
                        Arrange stuffed vegetables in a serving platter in a nice shape. Serve hot.

                        1. Makdousa

                          Makdousa is the most famous pickle in Lebanon. It is a totally different recipe for us and enjoys a totally different taste compared to traditional Egyptian pickles. I am sure you will just love it from the first bite.
                          Cuisine Shamy
                          Main ingredients Eggplants, Walnuts, Garlic
                          Time of preparation 25 Minutes
                          Time of cooking 0 Minutes
                          Serving 0
                          ! You must leave for ten days before it is served.




                          Ingredients 2 kg Long Eggplant ,small size
                          1 cup Walnuts ,semi crushed
                          1 Garlic ,head, crushed
                          3 Red Chili Pepper ,chopped
                          3 tbsp Salt
                          Olive Oil




                          Directions 1. Remove eggplants tops, place into deep pan, and cover with water then put over heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender.
                          2. Cut each eggplant deeply lengthwise from top to bottom. Rub inside with salt and put in a colander for 12 hours until it loses excess water.
                          3. In small glass bowl mix walnut, garlic, pepper and salt. Stuff eggplant with 1 tbsp of mixture then arrange in glass bowl. Cover and leave in room temperature.
                          4. In the next day,remove eggplant from the bowl and put in a big glass containar.drain accumulated water from container then cover eggplant totally with oil. Cover and leave in room temperature for ten days before it is served.

                          1. wow - looks like great recipes came out of this thread!

                            I made stewed okra with tomato, ginger, onion and garlic, and cumin -- I think it was in Bittman, maybe the newer book GRITW. I imagine it would be nice with eggplant stewed down first, and okra added a little later since it needs less time to cook. If you don't cut the caps off, they are less viscous.

                            When we had the stewed okra, I had just mashed up a very fresh tasting babaganoush -- the eggplants were deflated in the oven, scooped out and coarsely mashed with tahini, lemon, salt, chili flakes, and a more than usual amount of fresh herbs -- parsley and mint, and a little thyme. It was green tinged and really lovely.

                            1. I took this recipe from EatingWell.com and modified it. The original recipe used chickpeas instead of eggplant. Very tasty!

                              Okra and Eggplant Tagine

                              1 pound fresh or frozen okra, stem ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
                              10 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
                              2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                              1 red bell pepper, finely diced (or any fresh pepper - I used a small one from the FM)
                              1 medium onion, finely diced
                              3 cloves garlic, minced
                              1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
                              1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
                              3 plum tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes)
                              1/2 cup vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
                              3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
                              1 small-ish eggplant, diced
                              3/4 teaspoon salt
                              1 teaspoon harissa, (see Ingredient Note) or hot sauce, or to taste

                              1.Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add okra and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the okra with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Drain.
                              2.Tie cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string.
                              3.Heat oil in a tagine dish set over a heat diffuser or a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
                              4.Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 3 to 6 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, broth, cumin, the okra, the eggplant, cilantro sprigs, salt and half the bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium; partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is soft, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cilantro sprigs. Stir in harissa (or hot sauce). Serve sprinkled with the remaining bell pepper and cilantro leaves, if desired.

                              Tips & Notes
                              Make Ahead Tip: Equipment: Kitchen string
                              Ingredient note: Harissa is a fiery Tunisian chile paste commonly used in North African cooking. Find it at specialty-food stores, mustaphas.com or amazon.com. Harissa in a tube will be much hotter than that in a jar. You can substitute Chinese or Thai chile-garlic sauce for it.