July 17, 2014 by theresiugoes
My Mum was an amazing cook. Really, she was – I’m not just biast. Her reputation for her amazing banquets preceded her. So many people were able to experience a taste of Mum’s love and generosity through her meals.
I always wanted to cook with her, and learn how she made things, but I wals always relegated to roles of less importance: sweeping the floor, stirring the pot, or making salad (but not dressing it!). Maybe because I was her baby, or maybe because she was a bit controlling (maybe both!) she never let me play with dinner. I would whinge, “but mama, I want to cook!”
And she would always reply, “well, we want to eat!”
So, over the last few years, I’ve spent a lot of time practising making her dishes. They’re not perfectly like hers, but some of them have gotten pretty close! They bring me real comfort and warm my heart and tummy.
When we were living in Sydney, it was so easy to find the ingredients I needed. But since moving to the Central Coast, I have really struggled to keep cooking Mum’s dishes. I often have to plan ahead when we’re in Sydney, so I can find things like molikhaya, tahini or even (fresh) Leb’ bread.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found fresh Okra in Deepwater Plaza!
It’s not as cheap as Sydney, but we take what we can get here. I bought all the packs they had in store, and made okra soup for dinner that night.
The texture of the vegetable can be unusual to some (crisp on the outside, a bit slimy on the inside) but I don’t notice it in soup (the other way mum cooked it, as a stew in red sauce, I always found a bit too slimy).
Here’s my recipe:
4 chicken legs
2 tsp salt & pepper
1 head garlic
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 TBS butter
Bring 2L of water to boil.
Add the onion & tomato; chicken legs and salt & pepper.
Prep the okra (cut the tops off, but keep it pointy!)
Boil on medium heat until drumsticks are cooked (about 30 min).
Remove drumsticks from pot.*
Add the okra and cook on low, for about 30 minutes
Meanwhile, peal one head of garlic (you can do less, but that’ll be lame).
Put garlic and coriander in a blender, and blitz it ’til it’s minced (or chop it finely. Blender is faster!)
Once the okra is ready, melt the butter in a frypan.
Add garlic and coriander to the until let the garlic softens
While it’s still hot, pour the fried garlic & coriander mix into the soup.
Add lemon to serve.
*I usually reheat the chicken drumsticks in the frypan with any residual garlic & coriander to make it crispy.