5 Easy African Okra Recipes You Would Like

Debbie Obierika
Debbie Obierika
I am a versatile writer with passion for curating interesting and thrilling content that wll keep my readers glued to their screen.
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Okra recipes have been in use for the longest time, dating back centuries ago. In today’s post, I will be sharing with you some amazing Okra recipes from across Africa that you might find enjoyable.

Monotony is one thing that can make your food experience boring. I never wanted to be a foodie because I felt I had limited options and I started to hate the monotony and repetition.

Then I realized that I was stuck in a box as I needed to explore recipe websites and food bloggers who had found ways to spice up this thing called food.

Okra is one such vegetable that I thought could be eaten in only one form. Once I started exploring, I had the time of my life and realized that one food could have multiple variations. The Okra recipes I have discovered have blown my mind (Not literally, but you get the drift).

So if you have been bored lately with the monotony of how you cook your Okra, I am here to enlighten you on amazing Okra recipes from across Africa.

Before we get into the Okra recipes properly, let us get to know the intricacies of Okra as a vegetable.

What is Okra?

Okra Recipes

Okra/Okro also known as ochro or ladies’ fingers, is a warm-season vegetable. It is a good source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. It contains a sticky juice that people use to thicken sauces.

Origin of Okra

The origin of Okra is often disputed amongst the Western, Northern, and Eastern parts of Okra as they all claim that it originated from their parts of the world. However, history shows that it most likely originated from the  Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries who used the Arabic word for the plant, bamya. 

Okra is said to have come into Egypt from Arabia, but earlier it was probably taken from Ethiopia to Arabia. The plant may have entered southwest Asia across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb strait to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara, or from India.
The scientific/botanical name for Okra is Abelmoschus esculentus.

Nutritional Components of Okra

The Okra vegetable is a good source of protein, riboflavin, niacin phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and copper. Okra is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C & K, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.

African Okra Recipes

As I mentioned earlier, there are several Okra recipes from Africa and I will be sharing some unique ones that I found quite interesting.

Super Kanja 

Okra recipes used in Superkanja

Superkanja is an okra stew that packs a nutritional and flavorful punch with its combination of leafy greens, such as spinach, collards, okra, and sweet potato leaves. Combined with onions, chili peppers, and fish or meat, variations of this dish are found all over West Africa, such as the Ghanaian kontomire. This is one of the popular okra recipes in Africa.

What country is Superkanja popularly known in?

The Superkanja is one of the amazing Okra recipes in the Gambia. It is even referred to as Gambia’s super soup. The name Superkanja comes from a Portuguese word for soup (sopa) and a West African word for Ora (Kanja which gives the soup its distinct texture.

It is also called supa kanja, supakanja and kanjadaa.

What can I eat with Superkanja?

I know this question was probably burning a hole in your chest, so let me save you some stress. You can have the Superkanja with Rice, Potatoes, Yam, and Fufu and enjoy it as a soup or a stew. 

Read The Superkanja recipe here

Ila Alasepo

Ila Alasepo Okra recipes
Ila Alasepo

Ila asepo or Ila alasepo (okro soup) is a one pot okra soup.  It is a simple yet nutritious meal to prepare. This is another one of the amazing okra recipes that is an absolute favourite because it is a fast meal to prepare.

Origin of Ila Alasepo

Ila Alasepo is popular amongst the Yoruba people in Western Africa. Ila Alasepo is a one-pot Okra Ila is the Yoruba word for Okra, and Asepo means “To cook together”;  Ila Alasepo is mixed okra soup. In regular Yoruba style, Okra is typically served with stew.

How to prepare Ila Alasepo?

I like this meal because everything goes into the pot rather quickly and in minutes you are done. You start by placing a  pot on medium heat, pour in the meat stock (or water), cover, and bring to a boil. Add in the cooking potash if using. Add in the prepared meat, fish, prawns, crayfish powder, seasoning cubes, palm oil, and pepper, and then finally add in chopped okra and minced tatashe. This is one of the best okra recipes.

What Can You eat Ila Alasepo with?

The list is a long one as there are a variety of things you can eat with Ila Alasepo 

  1. Amala
  2. Semolina
  3. Cassava  Fufu 
  4.  Pounded Yam
  5.  Eba (Garri)

Read The Ila Alasepo recipe here 


Okra recipes for Miris Stew

Miris is an intriguing dish made with onions, dried okra, and sheep’s fat. Other vegetables, such as eggplant and potatoes, may also be included. It is served with Aseeda porridge. If porridge is not your thing, try it with Sudanese flatbread.

Miris is of Sudanese origin and it can be said to be the national dish of Sudan. This is one of the popular Okra recipes in Africa.

Read the Miris Recipe here 

Otong Soup 

Okra recipes for Otong Soup
Otong Soup

Otong soup is a traditional Okra soup from the Efik people of Cross River State, South Eastern Nigeria. Millions of people around the world love this soup and it is tagged as one of the best Okra recipes.

This is another Nigerian soup that has Okra as one of the ingredients. Otong soup has two key vegetable characteristics, Ikong Ubong( Ugwu) and Okra, the combo of these two vegetables differentiates otong soup from other okra soups- Ikong Ubong (pumpkin leaves) and Uziza leaves (piper guineese).

Things to note when making the Otong Soup

  • If you cannot source Ugwu leaves, you can use spinach, Water leaves, or Kale instead. If you cannot source Uziza leaves, which is optional anyway, you can use ground Uziza seeds instead.
  • Do not cover the pot after okro has been introduced into the pot.
  • Don’t overcook if you want okro green and resilient. The retained heat keeps cooking the Okro for about another 2 minutes after you turn off the heat.

You can enjoy this delicious soup with any type of swallow you like. I highly recommend this dish if you are inviting friends over, they will definitely love it.

Read The Otong Soup Recipe here 

Muamba De Galinha

Okra recipes for Muamba De Galinha
Muamba De Galinha

Muamba chicken is a national food in Angola and it is safe to say that the intentional, spicy infusion of seared chicken makes it even yummier. If you are a lover of core traditional food then this dish is definitely a must-cook. This is a go-to Okra recipes.

Records have it that Chicken Muamba or Muamba de Galinha came out 10th in CNN World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods 2011. So, even if this dish is not so popular in today’s food list, it has made worldwide waves for its uniqueness in taste and composition.

How to make Muamba De Galinha

To make the Muamba Chicken dish you would need lemon, garlic, chili, chicken, palm oil, onions, tomatoes, and okra. All you need to do is combine the ingredients together to get a stew-like mixture.

Natives of Angola and even many seasoned chefs have designed several recipes for making Muamba Chicken.

Read the Muamba De Galinha recipe here 

These are a few of my favourite Okra recipes and I hope you try them out. If you do, please share it with us on our social media handles. We definitely love seeing tags like that.

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Debbie Obierika
Debbie Obierika
I am a versatile writer with passion for curating interesting and thrilling content that wll keep my readers glued to their screen.

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