By Marcus Samuelsson | February 10, 2014

(Photo by postbear)

(Photo by postbear)

To continue the celebration of Black History Month, I’m sharing another recipe from my cookbook, The Soul of a New Cuisine. Okra is a fruit of African origin that was introduced to the South by way of the slave trade. It remains an integral part of Southern cooking today. This dish makes for the perfect side to add texture and color to a meal. For the best okra, pick out pods that are smaller, with no discoloration or soft spots.

Spicy Okra

Servings: 4-6


  • 1 1/2 pounds okra, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 bird's-eye chilies, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste


1. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the okra and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the onions, tomatoes, chilies, and peanuts, and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the okra and cook until heated through, abut 2 minutes. Season with the salt.

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