Aubergine, Okra and Tomato Stew

As well as being a hearty vegetarian main course when served with rice or another grain, this rich vegetable stew is an excellent accompaniment to grilled fish and meat dishes. It has even more flavour if made the day before required and eaten cold (but not chilled) with hot pitta bread. If you like such things chilli hot, then cook a small green or red chilli in the stew but carefully remove the seeds first.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2½ fl oz / 70 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb / 455 g aubergines
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 8 oz / 230 g okra
  • 1 lb / 455 g peeled tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 2 sprigs thyme salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped flat-leaved parsley or coriander

Method

Fry the onion gently in some of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole until it browns. Dice the aubergines into ½ in / 1 cm. chunks, and add to the pan, together with the garlic. Add more olive oil, as the aubergine absorbs it like blotting paper. Trim the okra, carefully paring away the stalk end, and add it to the pan with the tomatoes, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat or in a low oven for 2–3 hours, until the vegetables are soft. Towards the end of the cooking time, stir in any remaining olive oil. Before serving, hot or cold, stir in the parsley or coriander.