The colder seasons seem to spark this conversation of “comfort foods.” Of course, comfort foods are different for everyone. For our family, it usually evokes images of Persian stews. They are warm, hearty, full of vegetables and meats of your choice, and always served with fluffy, aromatic basmati rice. Can you smell the saffron????
Some friends were coming over for dinner to sample Persian food and I was at my local Middle-Eastern market checking out the fresh vegetables when I found okra was on sale. Yes, okra in October. We’re in Southern California, okay?
I grabbed a bagful and brought them home. I have made Persian Okra Stew (Khoreshteh Bamieh) in years. There are so many wonderful stews you can make, so sometimes making a decision which one to make is the challenge. I’ve already posted another great stew recipe, Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon). The one with okra is very similar.
I asked my mother-in-law for any tips or family secret ingredients she could tell me before I made the stew.
She laughed and said, “You know, I’ve eaten the stew many times, I love this stew, but I’ve never made it!”
She was surprised at her own revelation!
So, I jumped in head first, as I always do, and came up with this wonderful recipe. My husband was happy with it, and my friends loved it, too.
I kept the okra whole, instead of cut up, because the inside of the okra tends to get slimy when cooked, and I didn’t want it to slime my stew. That may not sound appetizing, but this really is a delicious and healthy meal. The okra doesn’t take long to cook, so avoid the temptation to let it cook for a long time with the rest of the stew.
I have a dozen other stew recipes that I promise I will post quickly, so keep an eye out for them!