Okra ladera

Okra ladera

Okra lathéra

By
From
Lyndey and Blair's Taste of Greece
Serves
8
Photographer
Chris Chen

This was cooked at Ithomi restaurant overlooking Ancient Messene. Stavroula, the cook and restaurant owner’s mother, deep-fries her okra first and explained that this stops the okra going mucilaginous as it usually does when cooked. I’ve tried it and it really does work.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
extra-virgin olive oil, for deep-frying
1kg fresh young okra

Tomato sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1kg ripe tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped, (see Lyndey’s note)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 large red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon sugar

Method

  1. To make the sauce, blend the tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft but not brown. Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar and some freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 10–15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Pour plenty of oil into a medium heavy-based saucepan and place over a medium–high heat. Test the heat of the oil with a wooden implement to see if bubbles appear.
  3. Wash the okra and remove the stalk or top ends, then place on paper towels to dry.
  4. Deep-fry the okra in batches until the colour heightens, about 2–3 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Place half the tomato sauce in a large baking dish. Cover with the okra and then spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the okra, spreading it over the top. Bake, uncovered, for 20–30 minutes, or until thoroughly hot. A longer cooking time reduces and intensifies the tomato sauce.

Lyndey’s note

  • You can substitute the fresh tomato sauce with 2 cups canned tomatoes or tomato purée, if you prefer.
Tags:
Lyndey
Milan
Blair
Taste
Greece
Greek
European
Mediterranean
SBS
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