Sunday, 7 September 2014

Baked Okra with Tomatoes & Ginger

Look, an Ottolenghi recipe that has less than 10 ingredients!  I had to do something like this as I still don't have access to my spices.... ok, time for a quick rant.
I'm so annoyed because I haven't had access to a well-equipped kitchen in over a month.  I was in Edinburgh in August living in a house with a guy who eats frozen pizzas and McDonalds. And I moved to London on Thursday, also living with people who don't really cook... But I was all excited as on Friday my boxes were due to arrive.  See, I've been wanting to bake.  The Great British Bake Off is on and I just want to whisk, weigh, stir and knead alongside Mary and Paul, and on Friday it was all going to happen.  I was going to make just a cardamom pound cake and maybe a bread of some sort. 

"Your boxes will arrive between 9 and 5 tomorrow, please ensure that you're home when they arrive."

So I waited at home.  And I waited.  And it was soon the afternoon. And I was hungry but I didn't dare to leave the house because then I'd miss their delivery and I'd have to go pick it up from the nearest collection point -- pick up my 109kg of things (I'd say 60kg are kitchen stuff).  So I stayed at home and I ate oatmeal. And I waited. And it was soon 3:30.  Then 4.  Then 4:55 and I called them.

"Well, it's by the end of the working day so I'm not sure, it could be a bit later." 

Ok so I've sent my things via this company, which I shall call M.  And they used the courier B, so they were like the middle man.  So far I had only been in contact with M. 

So then I called B and they said it can be up to 7pm for residential areas.  So I waited.

And I waited.

And someone from M sent me a text saying it'll arrive on Monday instead. 

The bastards.  I will disclose M and B's identities if I do not receive some sort of compensation.  But okay, to make things worse I rang up B yesterday asking why my boxes weren't delivered and they told me that they were forgotten in storage. 

Lie to me, B, lie to me.  Tell me your driver had an accident -- it still would've been no concern of mine and I'd still need compensation but I'd be a bit more understanding.  You're professionals, man, lie to me.

Urgh. So basically I can't even cook anything with lots of spices or anything and so I was very lucky to stumble upon this recipe from Ottolenghi that requires only a couple of ingredients.

On a more positive note, I love London's green grocers as they've really got everything.  I love okra, but ahh I didn't prepare them properly, I was meant to cut off all the stalk.  But still good, still very good.

Adapted from Ottolenghi
Serves 2-4
400g okra
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 knob of fresh ginger (about 12g), finely chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp caster sugar
coriander leaves

Preheat oven to 200C.  Carefully remove the stalk end of the okra, be careful as to cut so much so that they reveal the seeds inside. 

Toss the okra together with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place them on a baking trayin a single layer and bake for 15-20 minutes or until just tender.

Meanwhile, make the sauce.  Heat a tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add the ginger and garlic.  Fry for a minute until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, chili, sugar, salt and pepper.  Cook, uncovered over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it thickens. 

Stir in the okra and fry for a few minutes.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

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