Bamia wa Bandour

In this country, veganism and vegetarianism is often linked to views around animal cruelty,health or climate change. In Palestine, its simply an old way of eating from when people lived off the land and eating meat was only for special occasions. So much of our food is utterly delicious and naturally vegetarian without even trying and as long as you don’t reach for the yogurt, its also completely vegan. We often don’t eat meat in the week without even noticing as we are our regular comfort foods and this is a perfect one for the rain and cols we are currently having. Bang full of flavour and texture, if you havent tried okra before this is the perfect introduction to it!

If you can find the little okra, the size of a thumb nail then buy those. if you can only find the long ones, then chop their hats off and cut them into two or three pieces to make them an inch of so long.

ingredients

two large handfuls of okra

4 plump on-vine tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 tbsp tomato puree

extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp mixed spice

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

method

clean and chop your okra, removing the ‘hat’ and saute in a hot frying pan with olive oil for a few minutes until softened then remove and set aside until later.

peel your tomatoes buy scoring a cross in them and blanching in boiling water for 5 minutes. the skin will then easily peel off so you can chop them up.

start to fry the finely chopped onion in olive oil and once soft and translucent, add the tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic and the spices and cook until it bubbles then add the sauteed okra. Then reduce the heat and cook for 20-30 minutes. add a bit of water of you didn’t get enough liquid out of your tomatoes. This will allow everything to cook and stew together. You don’y want much liquid by the time you are finished- just delicious thick garlicky tomatoes coating the okra.

serve with our vermicelli rice and natural yoghurt.

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