How To Prepare Okro Stew
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One of the best sides for banku, one of Ghana’s national meals, is okro stew (also known as okra stew). A tomato stew base made with red palm fruit oil, onions, tomatoes, spices, and finely chopped okra makes up the majority of okro stew. Okra stew can be made in a variety of ways and has a variety of textures, ranging from very slimy to almost soupy. It can also be served on its alone or combined with other veggies like garden eggs.
History About Okro
In West Africa, okra is the common name for okra. The word “okra” can be traced back to West Africa in the 1670s. Its pronunciation is similar to the Igbo (Nigeria) word “kr” and the Akan (Ghana, Twi) word “nkuruma.” Nkruma (Twi, Fante), betri or fetri (Ewe), engmomi (Ga), ila (Yoruba), and gombo (Bantu/French Speaking Africa/Congo) are some of its other names.
How To Prepare Okro Stew
Okro stew may appear intimidating to make for the first time, but the steps are actually rather simple. Making a tomato stew base is the first step, which calls for red palm oil, onions, tomatoes, optional tomato purée, garlic, ginger, and peppers. The flavor can be improved by adding additional ingredients like shrimp seasoning or chicken stock cubes. An assortment of meat, seafood, or both are added after the tomato stew foundation has cooked and transformed into a sauce. The last ingredient is the coarsely chopped okra. Okra can be added raw or cooked, depending on preference. Some people steam the okra beforehand, which makes the sauce more viscous.
Depending on personal choice, cooking times vary. Okra may be cooked for a shorter period of time or sliced into larger chunks if the consumer like their okra to be less slimy and intact. Some people prefer their okra stew to be extremely thick. To do this, simmer the okra with a little bit additional water after it has been coarsely chopped or even grated. This enables the okra’s sliminess to manifest itself even more. The term “pull” soup, which refers to the soup’s slimy viscosity, is occasionally used to describe a stew with such a fine and viscous consistency.
2 lb stewing beef
1 beef stock cube (or chicken stock cube)
4 kpakposhito peppers
4 tablespoons palm oil
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic , finely diced
1 inch piece ginger
4 medium vine tomatoes
Scotch bonnet pepper (or chili powder), according to taste
2 fillets smoked mackerels (optional)
24 pods okra
Water (as needed)
- Cut the stewing beef into bite sized chunks and place into a pot. Chop ¾ of the first onion and add it to the beef. Reserve the other ¼ onion for the sauce.
- Add the kpakposhito to the pot, whole.
- Add a cube of seasoning for beef or chicken stock, cover with water, and cook until fork-tender. The sort of stewing beef chosen determines how long it will take to cook. Prepare the remaining ingredients as follows while the beef is cooking.
- Finely chop the second whole onion. Place a large pot on the stove and heat up the palm oil. Fry the onions in the oil until they just begin to caramelize.
- Add the diced ginger to the pot and fry for about 1 minute, just before adding the tomatoes.
- Chop the tomatoes into small chunks and place them into a blender or food processor. Add the ginger to the tomatoes.
- Add the remaining onion to the blender.
- Add the desired amount of scotch bonnet peppers.
- Pulse or liquidize the ingredients until smooth.
- The sauce will thicken as it cooks down and is poured over the caramelized onions. As oil starts to ascend to the surface, this should take ten minutes. Stir often to avoid burning.
- Quarter the okra pods, then chop them into ¼-inch (5 mm) thin slices. Set aside.
- Add the chunked smoked mackerel to the stew after breaking it up (optional). To allow the flavors to permeate the sauce, add a bit more water and boil for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped okra to the stew. To help the okra cook effectively, you could add a little bit more water. The sliming process is slowed down by the stew’s tomato content. Cook for ten minutes.
- Add the cooked beef along with the stock created during the braising process and stir to incorporate into the stew. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Check for seasoning and add salt if required. The dish is now ready to be served alongside banku.
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