By Francine Holmes
Okra (Hibiscus esculentus) is known as “Gombo” in the Ivory Coast. However it is spelled and pronounced Gumbo in the U.S. The word ‘Gombo’ is believed to be derivative of Portuguese quingombo of the word quillobo, native name for Okra plant in the Congo and Angola area of Africa. Okra is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients like Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B3, B6 and K. The protein found in the Okra seeds is enriched with amino acids, whose benefit is hair loss prevention.
Okra’s beneficial effects include: Helping regulate blood sugar – Maintaining healthy skin – Lowering cholesterol – Supporting colon health – Improving brain functions – Helping with respiratory issues like Asthma and it is an ideal vegetable to integrate in a weight loss plan.
3 cups of chopped Okra
1 cup of ginger paste
4 chopped garlic cloves
12 raw jumbo shrimp (tails removed)
1 smoked fish (sub with 1lb of beef chunks)
1 large onion (diced)
1 cup of water
4oz of cooking oil
1 bouillon cube (Maggi brand preferably)
1 chili pepper (whole)
In a separate bowl, mix together the chopped garlic, diced onion and the ginger paste. In a large cooking pan, bring your cup of water to a boil, add a pinch of baking soda then stir in the chopped Okra. Continue to stir as you’re adding the ‘garlic/onion/ginger’ mixture.
Leave it to simmer on medium high heat for 5 minutes, and then add the shrimp, smoked fish or beef chunks.
Leave it to cook for another 5 minutes on medium heat. Stir in the cooking oil, add bouillon cube and the chili pepper (whole). Leave that to simmer for about 15mns on medium low heat, stir occasionally and add salt to taste.
Finally remove from the heat, place the lid over the pan for 5 minutes to allow the smoked fish to break down.
Then serve with rice.