Can I adapt this easily as a vegetarian or vegan?
This method of cooking okra is common throughout the Middle East. Its highly adaptable and can be made vegan or with meat.
In Sudan it is traditionally eaten with kisra, a thin pancake-like bread made with fermented batter.
It is also delicious with rice.
3 cloves garlic
2-3 tsp. baharat
500g baby okra
25g dried apricots
1 lemon; juiced
250g diced lamb (optional)
Finely chop the onions and mince the garlic
Lightly fry both together in a saucepan with the olive oil, until the onions have just begun to soften
Step Three (Optional)
If using lamb, then add it at this point to seal the meat
Add the okra (no need to defrost) and the baharat, frying until the vegetables have turned from a bright to dull green
Pour the pasata and the water into the pan so that it just covers the okra. Stir everything together and season
Slice the apricots vertically in three
Simmer for an hour (if not using meat) to an hour and a half (if using meat)
After half an hour, add the sliced apricots
Stir in the lemon juice and simmer for another 5 minutes before serving
Mini or ‘baby’ okra (usually about 1.5cm long) are usually more tender and less 'gloopy' than larger varieties. They are usually sold frozen in the UK. Larger okra, usually sold fresh, should be cut in half or even thirds, before cooking this way.
To make vegan: omit the meat, this will not compromise the flavour