The most famous Iraqi vegetable stew. The exquisite quality of Iraq okra and lamb makes this stew a favorite dish in all Iraqi homes
1 kg small okra fresh or frozen
3/4 kg lamb chops, leg or neck with bone cut into 4-5 pieces
Spices used for boiling the meat:
2 black pepper corns
2 cloves
1 small onion sectioned
1 sliced garlic clove
3 garlic cloves, each sliced into 2 slices
3 -4 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup lemon juice or 1/8 teaspoon citric acid crystals
3 fresh tomatoes each cut into 4 pieces (preferably peeled)
4 – 5 tablespoons oil
salt according to taste1.Wash the meat, trim any excess fat. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim the brown froth. Add the listed spices used for meat boiling. Cover and boil on low heat until the meat is cooked. Add boiled water as and when required.
2.Meanwhile, wash the okra, trim the small stems without opening the okra from their bases. Allow to stand in a strainer placing a dish underneath to collect the okra juice.
3.Heat the oil in a medium size pot. Add the meat and half of the garlic. Fry the meat on both sides until it is golden brown.
4.Add the okra and the remaining garlic, carefully, cover and cook over low heat until the okra is slightly yellowish. Frequently shake the covered pot up and down to mix the contents without crushing the okra. Add the fresh tomato, simmer for a few minutes.
5.Meanwhile, dissolve the tomato paste in the strained boiling stock. Add to the okra. Cook half-covered allowing the stock to gently boil and slightly thicken. Avoid heavy handling and stirring to prevent the okra from breaking open.
6.Simmer over a low heat until the okra is cooked and the sauce is slightly thick. Remove the oil as it gathers on the stew surface. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
7. When ready for serving using perforated spoon, carefully place the meat in the dishes, carefully add the okra, then the sauce. Serve with Tanoor bread and plain rice, topped with Hekaka .