Economical, hearty, and non-slimy, there’s no better way to describe this vegetarian okra stew. Melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness, simmered in a herb infused spinach soup as it thickens like a gravy to pair with any rice, vegetable, or quinoa.
Your mouth will be watering when the smell of this delicious okra stew fill your kitchen.
Warm and comforting on cold fall or winter evenings, but also packed full of nutrition, this stew is a tasty one-pot dish that will leave you feeling satisfied.
Although sometimes referred to as a vegetable, okra is a flowering plant that is hugely popular in the southern states and across West Africa and South Asia. Either frozen or fresh okra will work just fine in this dish, as you may struggle to find fresh when it is not in season.
If you do use fresh okra, you will need to cut off the stem ends prior to cooking. If you opt for frozen it’s best to let them thaw to prevent adding any extra water to the dish.
Okra is often accused of having a slimy texture, but sautéing them for a few minutes will help to get rid of it, as used in this recipe.
If any sliminess remain, it will actually work wonders in helping to thicken your stew, or you may simply preparing a slurry by mixing cornstarch and water together, then pouring it in the stew.
The base of this vegetarian okra stew consists of okra, of course, and combination of tomato paste, onions and garlic.
Once you’ve got this base down, you can use it for a wide range of other stew recipes, adjusting the accompanying herbs and spices depending on the type of cuisine.
These staple ingredients create base flavors that will enhance the overall taste of your dish.
To avoid ending up with any lumps of onion in your dish, make sure to cut them to a small and uniform size and sauté until they are soft and translucent.
The exact measurement for these ingredients arefound in the recipe card listed below. For now, here’s a quick overview the complete list.
Okra: We used frozen okra to prepare this dish. We do recommend letting the okra to thaw out completely before using it, or running it under water for a few minutes. Fresh okra is best to use if you can find it at the local store.
Carrots: We used organic carrots for this recipe, but it is not necessary. Use any carrots you have on hand.
Spinach: Fresh spinach is recommended as frozen spinach will release a lot of water.
Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Paste, Salt, Allspice, and Black Pepper: These spices are used to flavor the stew.
Tomato Paste: This is used to thicken the stew and provide a beautiful reddish color.
Onion, Garlic & Carrots: These are used as part of the base and to provide a hint of sweet flavor.
Fresh Parsley: Parsley is used to provide a hint of freshness to the stew.
Cayenne Pepper: Adding cayenne pepper is completely optional and but will provide a low heat level to the stew. We highly recommend it but it is completely optional.
First, chop the onions, carrot, garlic, and parsley. Set aside.
Over medium high heat in a skillet, add the oil. Once heated, add the carrots and onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the okra. Stir and cook for about 25 minutes. Use the spoon to mash the okra as they become tender.
Cover with a lid and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Stir to avoid sticking at the bottom, and continue to mash with the spoon. This process should take about 5 minutes.
Cover and cook for additional 10 minutes.
Remove the cover, and add in the tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Then add ½ cup of water.
While mixing, add in the spinach a little at time until you have used half of the spinach bag. Add in 1 ½ cups of water. Cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.
Uncover, stir and add in the remaining spinach. Next, add in the parsley and garlic. Add in the remaining 2 cups of water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, uncover, stir, and add in the spices, cayenne pepper, and vegetable paste. Stir well, then add the slurry.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If you find that you have accidentally added too much liquid or your stew is just not looking as thick as you would like, remove one large serving spoonful of the okra and blend.
The stew can be very healthy depending on the ingredients that are added. Okra is filled with good source of benefits. It’s rich in folate, fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and magnesium. Okra can also help reduce your sugar level.
To reduce the sliminess of okra, we recommend removing the seeds, soaking the okra about 1 tsp. of vinegar, or sautéing the okra prior to prepare it as desired.
As with any vegetable, it is always a good idea to wash your vegetables or okra before cooking. This will help to get rid of bacteria and dirt.
Just mix the okra with room temperature water, and blend until they are thoroughly combined, and add into your Okra soup when it is boiling. Give it a few minutes before deciding to add any more.
Can I Make It In Advance
Absolutely! Stews often taste even better the following day, when all the flavors have had a chance to really marry together. If making ahead, simply cover your stew and store in the refrigerator.
When you are ready you can heat back up on the stove until it is gently bubbling and warm through. If when you reheat it you find it’s looking a little dry, you can always add a splash more water to the pot.
While this stew tastes fantastic on its own, it’s always a good idea to serve it up with an accompaniment that will absorb some of that delicious sauce.
Simply boiled white or brown rice is always a winner, or you could serve it up with some fresh, warm flatbread to dunk in your stew and mop up the bowl.
Plantains are also a great option when it comes to serving stew.
More Vegan Recipes To Try
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Okra Stew With Spinach & Carrots
- ⅓ Cup Olive Oil
- 1 Large Onion; Chopped
- 6 Carrots
- 2 Lbs. Okra
- 6 Oz. Tomato Paste
- 1 Lb. Fresh Spinach
- 3 Garlic Cloves; Chopped
- 2 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Paste
- 1 Tsp. Salt
- 4 Cups Water
- ¼ Cup Fresh Parsley
- 3 Garlic Cloves; Chopped
- 1 Tbsp. Allspice; Or use 1 ½ Tsp. Ground Cloves
- ½ Tsp. Black Pepper
- ¼ Cup Water For Slurry
- 1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper For Slurry
- 1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper; Optional
- Chop the onions, carrot, garlic, and parsley. Set aside.Over medium high heat in a skillet, add the oil. Once heated, add the carrots and onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the okra. Stir and cook for about 25 minutes. Use the spoon to mash the okra as they become tender.Cover with a lid and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Stir to avoid sticking at the bottom, and continue to mash with the spoon. This process should take about 5 minutes.Cover and cook for additional 10 minutes.Remove the cover, and add in the tomato paste. Stir well to combine. Then add ½ cup of water.
- While mixing, add in the spinach a little at time until you have used half of the spinach bag. Add in 1 ½ cups of water. Cover and allow to cook for about 10 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.Uncover, stir and add in the remaining spinach. Next, add in the parsley and garlic. Add in the remaining 2 cups of water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, uncover, stir, and add in the spices, cayenne pepper, and vegetable paste. Stir well, then add the slurry.Cover to simmer over medium heat for an additional 15 minutes over medium heat. Serve over white rice or with yellow yams.