Okra with Chickpeas and Pork is an awesome recipe that can be made all year round. The dish can be made with fresh or frozen okra and canned chickpeas.
This is a perfect recipe for those cold nights when you come home tired and hungry for something that will warm up your belly and make you happy. Okra and chickpeas with pork.
I know, okra and chickpeas together might sound a little bit odd, as not a lot of people are familiar with them or know how to use them, but I am telling you that when I tried the recipe, I was amazed at how divine they complement each other.
I totally fell in love with okra when I was twelve, and my family decided to hit the Black Sea for a two-week beach vacation.
We weren't rolling in dough, so instead of a fancy hotel, we went camping. My mom, bless her heart, packed enough supplies for an army, stuffing half the house into the car. Seriously, we probably had the kitchen sink in there too!
When we finally reached the beach, we set up camp next to this retired couple in their cute little RV. And let me tell you, these guys were way more prepared than us. They had all these jars of canned meat and veggies, some of which had okra in tomato sauce.
The lady in the RV was a cooking queen. She chopped up some onions, tossed 'em in a pan with meat chunks, and cooked them until they were sizzling. Then she added a jar of okra and tomato juice, giving it all a good mix.
To finish it off, she sprinkled some fresh parsley on top. Boom! Lunch was served. Since she was generous and loved to share, I got to enjoy her amazing meals throughout the whole vacation.
Man, that okra in tomato juice was something else! It stuck with me for years. Can you believe a teenager like me was obsessed with okra? Pretty weird, right?
So, today, I brought this dish to celebrate my undying love for okra. It's a veggie that's always had a special place in my heart.
A few words about chickpeas:
I always keep cans of chickpeas in my pantry (organic). Chickpeas are a great shortcut to putting a recipe together fast when you don't really have the time to cook them from scratch.
Chickpeas have a lot of protein and lots of fiber, like the majority of beans.
They are also very high in iron and calcium, which makes them a healthy choice for many people.
A few words about okra:
Okra is a great vegetable, but unfortunately, lots of people are afraid to cook with it or just don't like the slimy texture when the seed pods are cooked.
The slime, though, is a usable form of soluble fiber, and it thickens the sauce a great deal.
Okra is used widely in many Eastern European countries, Mediterranean ones, and West Asia.
Some people cook the okra intact or stir fry it as it helps to reduce the sliminess.
Cooking with acidic ingredients such as a few drops of lemon juice, tomatoes, or vinegar may help as well.
Farmers Market is a great place to buy okra, but in winter, I use frozen bags from the grocery store.
How to make okra with chickpeas and pork:
When I cook meat, I always like to start browning it first in the pan with a little bit of oil.
After the meat is browned, you can go ahead and add the onions, okra, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir and cook until the vegetables are translucent, 3-5 minutes.
While the vegetables are cooking, add the ground ginger, ground pepper, ground cumin, and salt and keep steering.
Add the vegetable broth, or if you want it less salty, just water. Reduce heat to medium and partially cover the pan.
Let it cook for another 10-15 minutes until okra is soft. Add the chickpeas.
Finally, add the chopped tomatoes or the diced can of tomatoes and cook for another minute.
Taste for salt. Sprinkle chopped parsley over the dish and serve warm.
The dish is hearty and delicious, and your house will smell amazing. It is perfect for chilly days, for dinner with a glass of white wine and some delicious crusty bread.
Are you going to try it? Leave a note under the comments, and let me know what you think.
Okra with Chickpeas and Pork
- 1 pound pork cut in small bite size pieces
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 2-3 green onions finely diced or 1 medium sweet onion chopped
- 1 pound okra stem ends trimmed, cut in ½ inch pieces(fresh or frozen)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 red bell pepper finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup drained chopped tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¾ teaspoon salt or adjust according to your needs
- ½ cup vegetable broth or just water
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium high heat and add the pork pieces to brown.
- Add onion, okra, bell pepper, garlic. Cook, steering from time to time until vegetables become soft for 3-5 minutes.
- Add the ground ginger, ground pepper, ground cumin, salt and keep steering.
- Add the vegetable broth or if you wanted less salty, just water.
- Reduce heat to medium and partially cover.
- Let it cook for another 10-15 minutes until okra is soft.
- Add the chickpeas.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another minute.
- Taste for salt.
- Sprinkle the parsley over the dish and serve warm.