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Did you know?

1. No African country names begin with the letters F, H, I, J, O, P, Q, V, W, X, or Y.

2. Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent.

3. African tech startups raise billions of dollars annually, seven African start-ups were included in the World Economic Forum 2021 cohort of 100 Technology Pioneers.

African Culture is World Heritage

Appreciate Africa through African art, food, proverb sayings, folklore, biographies, spirituality and African living history.

Curried Tanzanian Coconut Okra Recipe

Tanzanian curried coconut okra recipe is a simple African food recipe to make for a vegetarian weeknight dinner. Tanzanian curried coconut okra recipe is the favorite of Tanzania.

Curried Tanzanian Coconut Okra Recipe

Curried Tanzanian Coconut Okra Recipe

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh okra

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons good-quality curry powder

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 onion, chopped finely

2 tablespoons of butter

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 cups of coconut milk


Directions

In a large saucepan brown over medium, heat the butter, curry, onions, garlic, and paprika. Cut the tips off the okra pods. Add okra and remaining ingredients to the saucepan cover tightly, and simmer 15 minutes. Serve over white rice. 


How to choose good okra.

Hibiscus esculentus or okra is of African origin originating from Ethiopia. Okra grows wild along the White Nile and the upper Nile country as well as in Ethiopia. Begin with good-quality fresh okra suitable for canning. The way to choose good okra is by inspecting the okra pod if it is soft, squishy, and brownish skip this one and choose another.

 

What is okra.

Okra is a vegetable, a good source of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. It contains a distinctive gooey liquid used to naturally thicken sauces. The taste is mild, but it has a unique texture with peach-like fuzz on the outside and small, edible seeds on the inside of the pod. Okra is a slightly bushy plant, a common vegetable in many tropical countries. The main food part is the immature seed pod, but the mature seeds can also be eaten.


How do you cook okra?

Young okra seed pods are eaten steamed or boiled, as a vegetable or in stews and curries. Seeds from mature pods must be cooked to make them safe to eat, and then pounded into a paste rich in protein. Use okra leaves to flavor stews and soup. 

The fruit and leaves can be put into stews and soup. Okra can be fried using cornmeal, eggs, fresh okra and spices fried in vegetable oil until golden brown. Okra and tomatoes are in season at the same time and the acidity in tomatoes counteracts the sliminess of okra. 

Gumbo is a famous New Orleans dish using okra as the main ingredient. Just remember, when preparing, remember that the more it is cut, the slimier it will become.


Are there different varieties of okra?

Okra is also called bhindi, gumbo and lady's finger. Some of its cousins are also food: the cassava-like leaves of a West African variety (A. manihot), the aromatic seeds of another East African variety (A. moschatus), and the succulent fruit and sour leaves of Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa). 

Popular okra varieties in the United States are the Clemson variety dark green with angular pods. This okra takes less than two months to mature. Emerald type is dark green, with smooth round pods. Lee is a spineless type known by its deep bright green, very straight angular pods. 

Annie Oakley is a hybrid, spineless kind of okra with bright green, angular pods. It takes less than two months from seeding to maturity. Chinese okra is dark green in color and reaches 10 to 13 inches in length. These extra-long okra pods are sometimes called ladyfingers. Purple okra a rare variety you may see at peak times. They are all grown in the same way.


Are okra and cotton plants related?

Yes, they are, as a member of the Malvaceae or Mallow family, okra is related to cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus plants. Other related plants are the marshmallow, African-queen, fan leaf, wild hollyhock, checkerbloom, and wissadula.

Selling vegetables in Zambia on market day
Selling vegetables in Zambia on market day

Stewed African okra stew is made with peanut butter, tomatoes, corn and spices to create a flavorful filling stew.

Peanut Butter Okra Stew Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups of fresh or frozen okra

3 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 cup canned whole kernel corn

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

2 tablespoons palm oil

½ teaspoon red pepper flake

1 tablespoon peanut butter

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cups vegetable broth or water


Directions

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté palm oil and onions until the onions become translucent, about 2 minutes. Add green onions and mix well. Add tomatoes and dry seasonings. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add okra, corn, peanut butter and broth, cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes. Serve over rice or as a side dish.

Bamia Pickled Okro Recipe

Pickled Okra Recipe

Ingredients

2 pounds fresh whole okra pods

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

4 dried red chile peppers

4 teaspoons dried dill

2 cups of water

1 cup white vinegar

¼ cup pickling salt

1 tablespoon white sugar


Directions
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Divide the fresh okra evenly between 4 sterile one-pint jars. Evenly place mustard seeds, dried chile, and dill into each jar.  Pour liquid mixture into filled jars leaving ¼ inch room from the top of the jar to the liquid, this is your headspace. Tightly close each jar. In a large pot filled with boiling water, add jars making sure they do not touch and seal in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove jars with tongs from the water and place on the counter to cool 12-24 hours. Let jars sit at room temperature 7-10 days before eating. Proper heat processing destroys the botulism bacterium check jars before opening for any signs of spoilage. Refrigerate jars after opening.

More economical easy lunch and dinner recipes to make right now so you never have to eat or prepare a boring meal again.

  1. Curried Tanzanian Coconut Okra Recipe
  2. Yedoro Stir Fried Ethiopian Chicken Dinner
  3. Senegalese Chicken Vermicelli
  4. Caldo Verde Portuguese Kale Soup
  5. Air Fryer Black Eyed Pea Dumpling Stew

Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet=

Africa is surrounded by water but is not an island, here are a few African Island facts.

Madagascar is the 4th large island in the world and is located in the Indian Ocean supporting a unique biology, about 90% of its plants and animals are found nowhere else on earth.

Composed of 155 islands, Seychelles is Africa's smallest country. By far the largest island is Mahe, home to about 90% of the population and the site of its capital city of Victoria.

Cabo Verde has a strategic location 310 miles or 500 km from the west coast of Africa near major north-south sea routes; important communications station; important sea and air refueling site.

Africa is surrounded by water but by definition Africa is not an island because Africa is a continent. Continents can not be considered islands because of their size and also by historic definition since many people who study geography define islands and continents as two different things.

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

Chic African Culture


Be better than average and support African history and culture. Since 2008 Chic African Culture and The African Gourmet highlight Africa through her food and culture. Contact us culture1africangourmet@gmail.com

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