Middle Eastern Okra and Couscous Delight

Ingredients:

  • 1 Full quart size bag of Okra
  • 2 cups of pre-cooked Garbanzo beans (aka Chick Peas) OR soy beans OR 1 can of organic beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of 365 pureed or crushed tomatoes (with or without basil)
  • 2 cups of whole grain cous cous
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Black pepper (fresh ground)
  • Sumac (a substitute for salt and acidic in flavor, can be found at spice shops such as Penzey’s Spices in Norwalk, CT or in spice markets over seas)

Preparation:
Dice onion and press garlic. Adding a tiny amount of water to a wok style pan, steam both until onion is translucent and aromatic. (If using oil, try to select one with a high smoking point. See Smoke Point for recommendations on which oils to use and why.

Rinse and trim the top stem and bottom tip off of the okra. Be careful not to cut far down into the open walls of the okra as this releases a gooey excretion when cooking the vegetable. If you trim very close to the edges you keep the okra whole but more palatable.

Add okra to the onion and garlic mix. Allow to steam for 2-3 minutes in the open pan before adding the tomato sauce and beans. Stir in spices to taste.

While this cooks for about 15-20 minutes (or until the okra is soft all the way through but not mushy), boil 2 cups of water in a small pot for cooking the couscous.

I use 1 c couscous to 1 cup water since we like it drier.

Add couscous to boiling water. Cover and let sit off the stove (no heat) for 10 minutes. Season with pepper and sumac (or salt) to taste.

Serve together for a delicious middle eastern style meal!