6 garlic cloves
1 large green pepper
1 green chili pepper (optional)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 fresh or dry bay leaves
500 gm small-size okra
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups tomato juice
2 cups chicken or beef stock
1/4 cup basil leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
1) In a mortar, place the garlic, green pepper, chili pepper and a good pinch of salt. Ground the ingredients together with the pestle until a coarse paste is formed. Set aside.
2) In a deep cooking pan add a good amount of ghee. Sauté onions with bay leaves until tender and translucent. Add the garlic pepper paste and sauté for a couple of minutes with the onions. Add the okra and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and sauté for 1 more minute. Add the tomato juice and stock. Season with cinnamon, sugar, salt & pepper. Allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes and then lower the heat and let it simmer on very low heat for 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a clay pot or tajine and mix in the chopped basil leaves. Put into the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the okra is well cooked and the sauce has thickened. Remove from oven and allow the tajine to rest for 5 minutes.
3) Sprinkle some olive oil on top and serve hot with some lemon wedges and white rice.
Recipes in this section provided by Sara Abdel Salam. A dedicated foodie, Abdel Salam is a food and menu specialist and consultant. She holds an MBA from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport but works as a professional food stylist and photographer (check out her portfolio on www.pinterest.com/saraasalam/my-cooking-mania) and as a TV chef on Tahrir channel’s Feha Haga Helwa. In 2010 Sara started Sara’s Kitchen (ww.facebook.com/KitchenSara), today one of the largest recipe-sharing communities in the Middle East with over 55,000 fans and followers. In 2012 she co-founded Beram & Tajine, the Middle East’s first Egyptian/Moroccan e-magazine, with Assia Othman. Browse the nine issues produced so far at issuu.com/beramandtajine. You can visit Abdel Salam’s youtube channel at www.youtube.com/user/matba5sara?feature=watch.