Okra is such a beautiful vegetable. I always stop for a moment and marvel at how these unassuming plants are filled with such hidden beauty. Okra is also a bit of an undiscovered superfood. It’s low in calorie and nutrient-dense with high levels of vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C and folate. When you chop up the okra there is a bit of a gooey substance (very similar to aloe or soaked chia seeds); it’s almost like it has to be good for you!
This okra sidedish combines okra with onion, tomato, cinnamon and garam masala. These flavours bring Mr. Pea back to his childhood and reminds him of his Mom’s cooking; full of love and warm spices. It’s the perfect comforting sidedish to pair with rice-based dishes, vegetable curry or lentils.
The recipe is super easy – the only key is keeping the dish covered so the onions and okra can properly cook and absorb all of the flavors. You also want to thinly slice the onion crosswise so the end product looks like the below. You will laugh at me but I never knew how to slice an onion like this until Mr. Pea showed me. I had always chopped the onion to death into tiny pieces for any recipe I’d ever made that called for onion. I actually tried to google what this technique is called and it turns out its called “slicing an onion”! Ha… *blonde moment*. Not sure what I was expecting…some fancy terminology like julienne?
Cinnamon Okra Masala
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cups of chopped okra
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1 clove
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- Add finely sliced onion (sliced crosswise) and oil to pan. Cover and heat on low until onions are translucent. Check on them a few times and add a tsp or two of water if needed.
- When onions are translucent add tomato paste, cinnamon stick, clove and spices with another tsp of water. Cover and heat for 2-3 min until flavors are combined.
- Add chopped okra and 1/4 cup of water, cover and continue to heat on low for 15-20 minutes, until okra is softened.
Hoping you are as blown away by the beauty of okra as I am!