This is a West African inspired rendition of an okra and tomato stew, great on its own or served as a sauce over meat or fish. There are some unusual spices here, and I use palm oil. You can get red palm oil, which is not overly refined, in some supermarkets, or you can get sustainably produced oil online. Or just use vegetable oil.
1quartchicken stock, or other appropriate stock (see above)
1 1/2poundsokra, cut into discs
1tablespoonground cubeb pepper,or regular black pepper
Heat the palm oil in a soup pot over medium heat. It has a low smoke point, so when it smokes, add the onions and stir well. Cook them, stirring often, until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and minced chiles and cook another minute. Salt everything well.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook that for a minute or two, stirring often. Add the diced tomatoes, the grains of Selim, and the stock and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.
Add the okra and cook another 15 minutes, or until the okra is tender. You want a fairly substantial stew, so only add additional water or stock if everything is getting sticky. Season with salt to taste and add the pepper in at the end. Serve over meat, fish or with rice.
If you are using frozen okra it will only need about 5 minutes to be ready, not 15.
Keys to Success
Remember to match the stock to the dish, so fish stock with fish, vegetable stock if there's no meat, etc.
I like it hot, so I use plenty of Scotch bonnets, which I grow. Store-bought orange habaneros are not as hot, so start with one cut in half. You can fish it out later if you don't want to eat it. Or use a milder chile.
You don't eat the grains of Selim. They are there for seasoning, so either fish them out or tell people not to eat them. They're not poisonous or anything, just, well... chewy.
Once made, this will keep for a week in the fridge.