Okra, also known as "lady's finger" or "gombo", is a vegetable widely grown in Cameroon and many other countries in Africa. It is a green, elongated pod with a pointed end and a tough core. Okra is known for its mild, slightly sweet taste and its slimy texture, which gives it a special texture.
In Cameroon, okra is often used in soups, stews and sauces. A popular Cameroonian dish with okra is "Ndolé", a traditional stew usually prepared with fish or meat. Here is a simple recipe for Cameroonian ndolé with okra:
- 500 g meat or fish (e.g. beef, chicken or fish fillets).
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp ground peanut butter
- 200 g okra, sliced
- 200 g spinach or cassava leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp dried prawns (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fry the meat or fish in a pot with a little oil until brown. Add the onions and garlic and continue frying until soft.
- Add the tomato paste and peanut butter and mix well.
- Add okra and spinach or cassava leaves and stir.
- Optionally, add dried prawns to intensify the flavour.
- Add water until all ingredients are lightly covered and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the flavours are well blended.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Ndolé is a hearty dish often served with rice or fufu, a traditional Cameroonian dough made from cassava or maize. It is a delicious way to enjoy okra in Cameroonian cuisine!