Okra With Tomatoes

Okra With Tomatoes | giverecipe.com

When I decided to write a post on an okra dish, my husband advised me not to do it. He said seeing its photo, most people would leave that post in seconds. And I said I’d take that risk as I knew there would be people who love okra.

I’m trying to remember when okra became one of my favorites. I think it was during my university years when I was staying in a dormitory. It was the first time I was away from my parents and from mom’s dishes. It was so difficult to adapt to that new life in a new city, but more importantly, it wasn’t easy to get used to a new eating style containing mostly fast foods. I missed mom’s warm homemade dishes so much and I understood those days how they were tasty and valuable.One day, I visited my parents in my hometown without calling them at a holiday time and I remember that day was the day when I started to love okra. I’m sure mom wouldn’t have cooked okra if she had known I was coming, but I could eat anything made by mom’s hands those days. Okra has been one of my favorite dishes since then.

Most people don’t love okra because of its slimy texture when cut. But we can’t ignore it has many benefits on health. It helps digestive system by helping stomach and intestines work orderly. As it contains a high level of fiber, it adjusts blood sugar and it’s the best remedy if you have digestion problems. Besides, it’s rich in minerals, vitamin A and calcium. As it’s low in calories, okra may be the main vegetable for you if you’re planning to go on a diet.


(drawing by mom)

And I have good news for those who find okra unpalatable. I know the ways to take the slime away and to reveal the real tasty flavor of this vegetable.

Before the cooking procedure, there is something you should know while buying okra. If you are buying it fresh, you should get the bright ones with no color changes or damages. Also, you should prefer the short ones as their inside seeds are smaller, and it shows that they are picked at the right time. If they are too long, they may be tasteless.

Another important point is that you should wrap them in a paper towel to keep them in refrigerator. If you keep them in plastic bags, they will go bad in a short time. And this keeping time shouldn’t be more than 4 days.

Tips for a tasty okra dish:

  • First peel, then wash the okra.
  • Remove the tiny green part surrounding its cone. Do not cut its cone completely, peel it in a conic shape. And do not pierce the pod in any way. If you damage it, it starts to weep and release its slime.
  • Wash it gently.
  • Squeeze lemon on them and wait it for about 20 minutes. This will make it less fragile.
  • Add lemon juice into dish just when you add okras into the pot.
  • Do not stir the dish while cooking. You can shake the pot if necessary. You can stir it after it is done.
  • Do not use metal spoon, use a wooden one.

I always cook okra in this way and it never gets slimy. After learning these tips, lets learn how to make a tasty okra dish.


–    ½ kg okra
–    1 onion, diced
–    2 tbsp olive oil
–    5 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and diced
–    4 cloves garlic, sliced
–    ½  lemon (to wait the okras in it)
–    ½  lemon (to squeeze in the dish)
–    2 cups hot water
–    Salt to taste

Clean and wash okras as it is said above. Squeeze lemon on them and wait for about 20 minutes. Touch them gently while doing all these.

Meanwhile saute onions in olive oil. When they get golden, add tomatoes and garlic slices. Stir it and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add okras, but do not drain the lemon juice in them. Put them into the dish together. Squeeze half lemon and pour it just on the okras without wasting any time. Don’t forget, you will not stir it until it’s done. Cover it and cook about 5 minutes.

Then pour 2 cups hot water, add salt and cover it. Cook it about 30 minutes until the okras get tender enough.

Serve it with lemon wedges in case your guests want to add some more lemon into their dish. Lemon is an important ingredient in okra dishes. It both prevents it from being slimy and gives a wonderful flavor to the dish.

Okra With Tomatoes | giverecipe.com


  1. says

    So interesting article Zerrin.
    I don’t have the chance to try okra here, even I haven’t seen in the farm market but I’d like to taste to see the result with this nice recipe :)



  2. Erkin says

    Zerrin, I’m one of those rare people who love okra . Your recipe is just the way I like very much. Some people include meat to the recipe, but I think that spoils the flavor and taste of okra.
    If it is available, the juice of unripe grapes instead of lemon juice, surely ends up with a better taste.
    Thank you on behalf of all okra-fans.

  3. says

    ohh great tips on okra, I have never been that big of a fan but after reading this I will give them a 2nd chance

  4. says

    Thanks Zerrin. I will certainly try to cook okras keeping in mind those great tips. I am not a big fan of okra because of the slimy texture so next time I find some, I will try your way. 😉

  5. says

    Great post, very glad you posted this dish, I have the same feelings towards my mum’s food, all the ingrediends were coming from the orchard or the garden, including the meat that came from the neighbour who was a butcher…

  6. says

    This recipe is my absolute favorite way to eat okra! Add a little flat bread and it’s an amazing meal. Thanks for all your wonderful tips on cooking it!

  7. says

    I absolutely adore okra, and it’s good to know that I’m not alone :) (Actually, my father-in-law shares my love; when he comes to visit I make a big bowl just for the two of us.) I’ve never found a problem with slime, but I was really afraid of that when I first started using okra. I found frozen okra was a lot less slimy, although now I use fresh when it’s available.

  8. says

    I actually love okra but never cook with it – as never understood how. I love it in soups! Thanks for all the grand tips.

  9. Kerry says

    Yum! Tomato + Okra = 2 of my favourite food!

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  10. says

    Great post, Zerrin. Mom foods are always the best!:) Thanko you for the okra tips. They surely will help me pick the best from our local grocery store.

  11. says

    Rebecca- Never tried it with coconut, so interesting. I must learn more about it. Thanks for sharing your way of cooking okra.

    Gera- If you happen to see it at farmers market one day, do not hesitate, just buy it. I’m sure you’ll love it.

    Jenn- I generally make rice pilaf and serve it as a side dish with okra. They go very well. You may be a new fan of okra when you try it in my way :)

    Lisa- I agree, if there is no lemon, I do not cook it.

    Sophie- If we have the right way to cook a food, it’s impossible not to have a tasty result. And every food has its own way, we should just learn it.

    Erkin- I generally make okra without meat, but I sometimes add meat upon my husband’s request. You know he has a great appetite on meat. And I love that version, too. But my favorite is this one.
    How did I forget to mention adding unripe grape juice to this okra dish? It’s grandma’s way. She had a vineyard and she would have that chance of adding unripe grape juice whenever she cooked okra, an unforgettable flavor! Unfortunately, we don’t see unripe grapes at farmer markets here. Thanks for your additional info.

    Jessie- Hope you love them after these tips.

    Erica, Reeni, Divina- Hope you love pkra after these tips. Believe or not, I have friends who discovered the wonderful taste of okra after they cooked it in this way.

    Lisa (dandysugar)- I’m sure you also have some great ways to cook okra. Glad to hear you loved my way.

    Aline- Hope you love it next time.

    Parita- Some people add less tomato in this dish, but I think ther must be enough tomatoes to have a good taste. I love them together!

    Christelle- We will always have these feelings towards the past and home, won’t we?

    Faith- Flat bread will double the pleasure!

    Fearless Kitchen- Dad is the other okra fan in our family. Other members just eat it, but we enjoy it so much. I’ve cooked canned okra a few times, and they weren’t bad. But never tried frozen okra. I think it’s tasty at any version.

    Claudia- Hope these tips will work if you try to cook it one day.

    Kerry- And I love the combination of green and red in a dish. They are not only colorful, but also tasty together.

    Farida- Hope you find the most fresh and young okras at the store. Don’t forget to buy lemon with them. And enjoy your dish!

  12. says

    Excellent information and tips for cooking okra! I do love it but have actually never made anything with it at home. Definitely need to find in the supermarket.

  13. says

    Okra was never all that appealing but seeing it here stewed with tomatoes makes it intriguing! Thanks for the tips!

  14. says

    Okra and tomatoes are my favourite veggies! Yours definitely looks very delicious and healthy. Thanks for sharing.

  15. says

    I use okras for my curries and love them spicy. I am not too fuss about it being slimy. I guess I grew up eating it and many people I know aren’t used to it. But great tip!

  16. OysterCulture says

    I love okra, sliminess and all and cannot wait to try this new recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Wilma says

    I grew up on okra and love it – slim and all. Another way to eliminate the slim is to slice it in small pieces, coat it with cornmeal and pan fry it in a little oil.
    I added a little okra to a soup for my husband and stepchildren once and the seven year nearly tossed his cookies – just from the thought of the slim. We still laugh about that 34 years later. I think I’ll send this article to him.

  18. says

    Being from Mississippi with family roots in Lebanon OKRA has always been part of my life. Living in Germany okra has not always been available, but today we can buy it fresh in Turkish markets (also in jars). I knew about the trick with the lemon. When cooking it with meat Mama used to cook chicken legs, later adding the okra and tomato paste…..also garlic and fresh basil. Rice is definitely THE accompaniment. When our family was gathered on Easter Sunday (okra and rice) our 12 year-old granddaughter told us that whenever she is sick she wants her mother to make her some okra and rice. Isn’t that great advertisement for a great vegetable !

    • says

      Hi Nazira, I can’t understand how some people hate okra! It’s so yummy, isn’t it? Adding chicken legs is a brilliant idea! And we love to accompany it with rice or bulgur pilaf.

  19. Raff Dellavaris says

    Okra was an out of the blue childhood favourite dish which my family was introduced to by an Egyptian friend. I liked to eat it with bread and butter……Give it a try, especially if it ıs soupy okra! I havent had it for yonks but am very keen to find some okra and learn to prepare it.


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