Okra is a little known vegetable that is commonly consumed in Middle Eastern and African cuisine.  Okra is rich in gut-loving fibre, as well as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium. The fibre in okra is mucilaginous, which makes it an excellent source of prebiotic fibre that feeds our microbiome.  Okra freezes well, so you can buy a batch of it, wash it well, snip the woody tops off and freeze them in batches, ready to cook. You can often find okra at quality greengrocers.  



2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

1 onion, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

¼ tsp ground clove

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground coriander 

¼ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp turmeric 

¼ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp black pepper 

¼ tsp ground ginger

5 cups vegetable stock or water or beef bone broth

350g okra, woody tops snipped off

2 heaped tbsp tomato paste

Juice from half a lemon

Sea salt, to taste

3 large silverbeet leaves, washed, stems cut off, shredded



  1. Heat the olive oil in a pot on medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent. 
  2. Add in the spices and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add stock/water/broth, tomato paste, salt and lemon juice.  Stir to combine. Increase the heat to bring to a boil. 
  4. Add in the okra and bring to the boil.  Then reduce the heat to low-medium and allow to simmer until the okra pods are soft.
  5. Add more salt if needed, and stir through the silverbeet leaves. 
  6. Serve with brown or basmati rice. 


Tip: you can make the spice mix in a larger quantity, and store in a glass jar ready to use.

Tip: if you choose to use a broth and want to spend a bit of extra time with this recipe, you can make a broth with just the water, garlic and a few pieces of oxtail.  This needs to be simmered for about 6 or so hours or until the oxtail is soft and falls off the bone. Then you can use this broth in the recipe as above.