Goodbye fall, I’m gonna miss you!
And well, hello winter! This is the longest season of them all, or so it seems to me. With the sun setting at 5pm there is so little light – especially in this part of the world where the skies are mostly grey – and days and weeks just seem to go on forever and ever. But before the gloomy months of January and February arrive, we’ve got December to make all our wishes come true. A month that comes with massive preparatory work for the end-of-the year festivities and family gatherings. And let’s not forget the unavoidable, somewhat stressful Christmas shopping that starts right around this time – unless you’re very organized and you’ve got all that taken care of already in November. Let me congratulate you then!
But before the full Christmas holiday season sets in with its champagne, foie gras and bûche de Noël, here is a quick and healthy recipe for you with two amazing vegetables: cauliflower and okra.
Talk about vegetables I had not known about when growing up! Well, okra is certainly not something to be found in Central Europe: originating from North-East Africa, this plant is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions – hence not where I come from… Besides North Africa, okra is mostly used in Indian, Creole, Caribbean and Cajun cuisine. These fibrous fruits or pods are also known as bhindi, bamia, gombo or lady’s fingers in different parts of the world. They are often used to thicken stews or soups because when cooked or cut, the seeds release a sticky, slimy material. Okra is a very low-calorie veggie that is nevertheless rich in dietary fiber, minerals such as iron and calcium, and vitamins, notably vitamins A, C, K and folates.
Use the spices listed below liberally for this stir-fry recipe, okra and cauliflower taste great with these strong Indian flavors. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve it with a side of quinoa or basmati rice. Enjoy!
What you’ll need to serve 4:
- 2 tbs of ghee or coconut oil (or you can replace by olive oil)
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1tsp fennel, crushed
- 1 tsp mustard seeds, crushed
- a thumb-size ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper or finely chopped fresh red chili if you like your dish spicier
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 500g okra, washed and dried
- 300g cauliflower, separated into florets
- juice of half a lemon
- Himalaya salt and pepper to taste
- a handful of fresh cilantro
- a dash of love
What you’ll need to do:
- When you’ve washed and dried the okra, discard top caps and pointy bottoms and cut them into halves.
- Heat the ghee or oil in a non-stick wok or use a large pan. Add the finely chopped onion and sauté on high heat for a few minutes.
- When the onion has softened add the spices: turmeric, cumin, grated ginger, crushed fennel and mustard seeds, cayenne pepper or chili, salt, pepper and the garlic as well, stirring constantly.
- Lower the heat, add the cauliflower florets and give it a good turn. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
- Now add the halved okra and cook gently for 10 more minutes. I find that the cauliflower needs more time to cook so I added the okra later. You would want your veggies softened but still crunchy so check regularly to see if you need more time to cook or not.
- Serve garnished with the lemon juice and fresh cilantro.