Okra in tomato sauce served with Carrot Rice

I owed you this recipe for a while now!
I posted some pictures on my Facebook page some time ago from a very special ingredient called: okra aka bamya. I discovered this ingredient one day at my job when one of my colleagues, who is married to an african man, explained how he used it frequently for his tomato sauce. Of course I had to try it out, african cuisine is very similar to the latin american one…if it’s super spicy and tasty, I’m in! My curiosity has been satisfied, so I present you the following recipe…
What you’ll need (for 3 portions):
At least 10 pieces of okra
Some cherry tomatoes
1 small onion
4 pieces of garlic
1/2 cup vegetable stock (bouillon)
35g concentrated tomato paste
150g canned corn

For the rice:
1 1/2 cup rice
1 carrot

olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Since the rice takes longer, we’ll start with that. Peel the carrot and then cut it into very thin slices, a potato or apple peeler would be handy for this, but you can as well try doing it with a very sharp knife.
Heat around 4 tablespoons olive oil in a deep pan and fry the carrots for around 2 minutes, then add the rice and let fry for around 3 more minutes. Mix it once in a while so it won’t stick to the bottom.
Pour in 3 cups of water, add salt to taste and let cook. Reduce the temprature as well to let it simmer.

For the okra sauce: chop the okra into slices with a diagonal direction. You may as well chop the cherry tomatoes into halves, onion and garlic into small pieces.
The okra becomes very sticky and slimy, this is normal. What I did to reduce that was to sauteƩ them a bit before adding them to the sauce. So once you have the okra chopped, heat up a tiny bit of olive oil and fry the okra until it gets some brown corners. Remove from the pan.

Do not forget to check on your rice, mix it a bit every now and then to avoid sticking.

Back to the sauce. Now that the okra is under control, combine the tomato paste with the vegetables stock (bouillon). Heat up some olive oil (around 4 tablespoons) in a deep pan. Once hot, start by frying the garlic and onion. You’ll then add the chopped cherry tomatoes, mix well and let fry for around 1 minute. Add the pre-fried okra and the corn and mix. Let it cook for around 1 more minute before adding the tomato paste mix.
Reduce the temperature and let simmer until the sauce feels heavy enough.

Rice must be done about now. The water should’ve all evaporated and what you get is a bit of an orange-colored rice with an awesome smell!

Serve these together inmediately…a really tasty, vegetarian meal!
Hope you enjoy it, buen provecho!

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