Ghanaian okra stew is Ghana’s national dishes and one of the best accompaniments to banku.
Banku and Okro Stew is one of those dishes Ghanaians can’t simply do without.
Ghanaians and Nigerians have a lot of similarities particularly when it comes to food.
In Ghana, the main components of okro stew are a tomato stew base made with red palm fruit oil, onions, tomatoes, spices, and finely chopped okra.
Ghanaian Okra Stew: The History behind the Okra
Okra is thought to be of African origin, predominantly West Africa and Ethiopia though others believe it has origins with South Asia
Okra stew comes in many forms and consistencies, from fairly slimy to almost soupy.
It can be mixed with other vegetables such as garden eggs, or left simply as okra stew.
Vegetarians can follow this same recipe by just removing the meat or by adding other vegetables like yellow squash, or chopped spinach, or fish for extra flavor.
Healthy Benefits of Okra
Okra is known as ladyfingers, ochro, gumbo, or okro.
It is a nutrient powerhouse, that contains vitamins such as folate and vitamin c, and soluble and insoluble fiber.
It aids in reducing the risk of heart disease, keeps the intestinal tract healthy, and boosts the immune system, among other benefits.
The whole okra plant is edible; you can use the leaves for salads and fry the pods, pickle, boil or use as a thickener for soups/stews.
Okra is slimy in nature (mucilage) which some people do not like.
This sliminess helps to coat the intestines and helps ensure smooth and regular bowel movements.
Okro’s scientific name is Abelmoschus Esculentus. The climatic conditions in Ghana favor the growth of the plant.
Ghanaian okro stew has gained popularity not only in Ghana but a necessity in most African homes.
African okra stew uses a simple method and the ingredients in the recipe are readily available.
Ghanaian Okra Stew Recipe
- 5 slices of fish
1 ½ pound chopped okro (okra)
128 oz can of tomato puree or 4 medium fresh tomatoes
One large white/red onion
- ½ tablespoon ground hot pepper
¾ cup Palm Oil
½ tablespoon salt for taste
- Stock cube (Or any seasoning of choice)
- Firstly, heat the palm oil in a pot using low heat. This kind of oil burns pretty quick so you have to be careful.
- Then, add the chopped onions and fry until they are soft and translucent.
- Thirdly, add the pepper and wait for a while before adding the tomatoes. Let it cook until the liquid evaporates.
- After that, add the palm oil. The oil will rise to the top when the water evaporates, you may add the fish or your meat of choice to the pot.
- Lastly, mix in the chopped okra and garden eggs(optional) and leave for 10 minutes but constantly stir to prevent burning.
Serve when ready alongside banku or swallow of your choice