Eat · Recipes

Grandmas’ Okra Stew


Some people love it and some people hate it! Some people crave for it while others can’t stand the sight of it, and it is without doubt one of the most controversial vegetables.

Okra’s a strange little vegetable, the kind of thing you might not guess was edible if no one told you. Its prickly skin can sting your fingers, and slicing into it reveals little more than seeds and slime. I admit, if my beloved grandma didn’t insist so much to give it a try and swear on the success of her recipe, I would probably still be unacquainted with it.

okra_freshToday I proudly present to you my grandma’s recipe, the one that made me change my mind and become an okra enthusiast. Since then I turned several people into okra lovers with the power of this recipe, one of which was my husband! It took me several years to convince him but in the end it was a bet I had won that made him try, and yes…grandma’s recipe worked the magic again and turned another okra enemy into okra lover.

The thing with okra is that you have to treat is nicely before you cook it. If you are using frozen okra then it’s absolutely fine to use use it directly from your freezer for this recipe. If you go for the fresh thing you have to chop and discard the stem of the okra while it is well washed and dry. Put it in a bowl, season it with salt generously and add half a cup of cider vinegar for every 500gr of okra. Toss it well and let it soak for 30min to 1 hour until you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Drain well before using it and keep in mind to check salt before seasoning your food.okra-stew
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 500 g okra
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • pinch of sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh parsley, finely chopped


  • Heat some olive oil in a deep pan and sauté the chicken in batches, on both sides nicely.
  • When all of the chicken is ready, discard the oil and fat from the pan. Wipe the pan with some paper towels and then add some fresh olive oil. Heat and sauté the onions until golden and softened.
  • Add the garlic. Saute for 30 seconds and then add the canned tomatoes and sugar. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • When it has simmered for a bit, add the pieces of chicken and cook for 25-30 minutes, over medium to low heat adding some water if needed.
  • Add the okra to the pan. Add the lemon juice, cover the pan and simmer for another 20-25 minutes until the chicken and okra have softened.
  • Remove the chicken pieces and mix the okra in the sauce. Add the parsley and olive oil.
  • Serve chicken and okra stew while still warm.



This type of okra stew is very popular in the eastern Mediterranean usually referred as bamia and can be found in similar versions cooked with lamb or beef.


– For a lighter version, remove the skin from chicken (as I did in the pictures), saute lightly and use most of your olive oil in the end of cooking.

– For this recipe I use more than 1 lemon, I can go as far as 3 lemons personally, because I love i,t but you can stick to the recipe at first. You can always add as much lemon as you like in the end.

– Accompany it with a slice of fresh bread and don’t hesitate to soak it on this rich tomato-lemony sauce.

Useful info: Okra is among the very low calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

If you happen to love okra this is recipe to try. If you haven’t tried okra but you are willing to, this could be the perfect way to be introduced to this rather controversial vegetable.

Love Constance







32 thoughts on “Grandmas’ Okra Stew

      1. Well, I wouldn’t say my recipes for okra are creative, but I’ve been eating them all my life. Fried okra, you can’t beat it, it’s a southern staple. Fried in cornmeal & flour is best, since flour alone doesn’t do it justice. My favorite is stewed tomatoes and okra with lots of bacon & onions. There is a recipe by Paula Deen and also a recipe from Patrick and Gina Neely you could try – my mom’s is the best, but even I don’t have that recipe. I also like okra in my vegetable soup. Pickled okra is ok, but I will boil a package of fresh okra and just eat them with salt. The rest of my family thinks I’m nuts. Experiment…it’s pretty versatile.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. What fun! Love that you’re sharing your experiences with your grandma’s recipe. Appreciate you stopping over at food for fun for Great-aunt Helen’s chicken wings 🙂 Am glad to come over to your space – especially love your tagline.

    Liked by 1 person

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