Okra with Chickpeas and Pork is an awesome recipe that can be made all year around. The dish can be made with fresh or canned chickpeas.
This is a perfect recipe for those cold nights when you come home tired and hungry for something that would 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 how divine they complement each other.
I think my love for okra started when I was 12 years old and my family went on a two weeks beach vacation to the Black Sea.
My parents did not have a lot of money to stay at the hotel, so camping was an economical and probably more fun solution.
Before the trip, my mom got prepared with lots of supplies she needed to cook for a family of four and packed half of the house in the car plus the kitchen sink, as she used to say.
When we arrived at the beach, we met a retired couple who owned a very small RV . They were camping right next to our tent.
This couple was more prepared than us, as they brought with them lots of canned meats and vegetables in jars. Some of them contained okra in tomato sauce.
The lady cooked some chopped onions in the pan, together with chunks of meat, and after tossing them together for few minutes she added a jar of okras and tomato juice.
She finished the dish with some fresh chopped parsley.
Voila, the lunch was ready! Because she was a great cook and loved to share her food, I got to eat a lot of her meals on that vacation.
Boy, I will never forget that okra in tomato juice she used to make…Years after that vacation, I was obsessed with okra. An odd vegetable for such a young teenager, don’t you think?
I decided to bring this dish for you today, as a celebration of a vegetable that I always loved.
I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I dare you to try it, it is easy to make and extremely delicious!
Few words about chickpeas:
I always keep cans of chickpeas in my pantry (organic). Chickpeas are a great shortcut to put a recipe together fast when you don’t really have the time to cook them from scratch.
Chickpeas have a lot of protein and as well 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.
Few facts 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 wildly in many Eastern European countries, Mediterranean ones or 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 with 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, the 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, salt and keep steering.
Add the vegetable broth or if you wanted 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 and cook for another minute.
Taste for salt.
Sprinkle chopped parsley over the dish and serve warm.
The dish is hearty, 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.
- 1 pound pork cut in small bite size pieces
- 1 handful of 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.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 355 Total Fat: 19g Saturated Fat: 5g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 12g Cholesterol: 67mg Sodium: 315mg Carbohydrates: 21g Fiber: 7g Sugar: 6g Protein: 27g