Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dip
It’s safe to say that the predominant okra recipes online are for either a) fried okra, or b) gumbo. This recipe stood out from the crowd because it’s such a creative twist on the traditional okra dishes. Three cups of okra are in this dish, paired with a whole green pepper and two cloves of garlic- so despite appearances it’s really more vegetable than cake. The cilantro & lime yogurt dip rounded out the meal, which I’d only say could be improved by substituting a red pepper for green... and that choice is purely aesthetic, so go for green if it’s what you have available.
For a little aside, we grew the okra, green pepper and cilantro for this dish- a first trifecta for the market garden & I’m gonna take a second to enjoy that here! Out of those three, growing okra is by far the simplest for us. We start the seeds in May or June in trays to transplant out into the field once they show their “true” leaves. They go out into the field in two rows per bed about a foot apart, and we grow both red and green varieties. So far, we haven’t had any pest problems with this crop, and find that it grows pretty easily in the climate here in western North Carolina. Great news for us this time of year with some other (rather finicky/particular) crops to worry about elsewhere in the field.
I feel like I don’t need to elaborate too much on these. They are amazing! If you’re someone who doesn’t like okra because of the texture... these solve that problem. If you’re on the fence about okra, now’s the time to try out a new recipe. This one :)
Full disclosure: as I went to make this recipe, I realized I was out of cornmeal. Yep. I’m serious. So... I made do with a combination of semolina flour and panko bread crumbs. Though I do hope to make this again soon with actual cornmeal. Please don’t hate me for being too lazy to go to the store and correct this! The original recipe inspiration is from: https://www.runningtothekitchen.com/okra-cornmeal-cakes/
Now here’s the slightly modified version I made:
3 cups sliced okra rounds
1 cup diced pepper (green or red)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cup yellow cornmeal (or 1 cup semolina flour & 1 of panko bread crumbs)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (I used Ener-G egg substitute)
1 cup water
salt & pepper
1/2 cup oil for frying (coconut, canola, etc.)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (almond, coconut or any other substitute you enjoy)
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Combine the cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
Whisk together the egg substitute and water.
Add the egg substitute and water mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir together with a spatula.
Mix in the okra, pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic.
Season generously with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Once hot, form the batter into patties and pan fry on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
Mix the almond yogurt, lime and cilantro together in a small bowl and serve with the hot cakes.