Chili and Garlic Okra with Pomegranate Molasses – Recipe

Chili and Garlic Okra with Coriander and Pomegranate Molasses

There are simple pleasures in life. Falling asleep in a garden, taking your shoes off after a long day at work, hugging a loved one… To me, there is many a simple pleasure to be had with food, but after a visit that has been long overdue to my homeland, Lebanon, I have one more to add to that list: making food from the produce in the garden that fed your parents and grandparents. Fresh, seasonal food that is bound to your history and forms part of your identity.

Stunningly beautiful okra flower and fruit

In anticipation of the return of his three sons (2 in Australia and 1 in America), dad made sure the garden is abundant with produce. And for days, mom has been holding off picking the okra so that we could pick it ourselves. Okra is one of those vegetables. You know what I’m talking about. You either love it, or you hate it. Cooked poorly, the slimy sludge oozes into the dish, turning it into a textural monster. But mom cooks nothing poorly, and the secret she tells me is to deep fry the Okra fruit (yes, it is a fruit), which eliminates the slimy liquid.

the day’s bounty of Okra fruit

Mom usually makes an okra stew with meat and tomatoes. But I wanted to do something a bit different, so we made both dishes. My recipe is so simple, that it does not need measurement. Simply deep fry some okra that has been cleaned like you see in the picture (get rid of the stem) and in a separate pan, fry some chopped garlic and chili. When the garlic is golden and crunchy, mix and cover the okra with the garlic and chili. Dish up in your serving plate and top with freshly chopped coriander and fruity, citrusy pomegranate molasses. This is a great mezze dish, so eat it with your fingers. No forks and knives, please…


  • Ssomdtimes the simplest of dishes are the mos rewarding. I can imagine though, that he flavour of the okra cooked in your family's garden would be so superior to many sosrts available here.

    What was the verdict from the rest of the family?

  • What a simple recipe.. but I am sitting here thinking that the simpleness of the recipe would really bring out the texture of okra. I love okra!

  • Trish – The family loved it, and mom is adding it to her repertoire. The okra we have in the garden is excellent, and being just picked makes it even better.

    Clekitty – I love okra too. Didn't like it much as a kid though. Simple recipes are good to bring out a central ingredient

  • Okra! I love okra!

    And that dish looks really delicious!
    I just saw a pack of okra later tis afternoon at supermarket and grab it quickly since I hardly saw one here in the UK..

    I like it steamed, dip it in soy sauce and drops of lemon.. Eat it with steamed rice! I like it little bit crunchy. Now that's a simple dish..Yum yum!


  • Hi there guys.
    I discovered Okra around a year ago. An asian (chinese x malasian x thai x anything else that will appeal to australian tastes…)restaraunt had a dish on the menu we were recommended. But this little vegetable! (Apparently a fruit) was amazing!.
    I found it in fresh fruit and vegetable markets but price seemed ridiculous.
    Moruya markets(NSW, Australia) has a stall selling Clemsons Spinless and Burgundy seeds. I bought,I grew and I’m about to start harvesting!.
    Is there anybody out there (great lyrics floyds) who can tell me how to treat it straight after picking? Thanks from Ben, Canberra, Australia.

  • Hey Ben

    Okra, just a little pin prick. Sorry. A Floyd fan too.
    Sorry it took so long to get back to you. We eat them fresh. Basically, just take the end off, chop or keep whole. It can be used straight in stir fries and soups.

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