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African ragout with okra and sweet potato

BY Justine Harding

1st Jan 2015 Recipes

African ragout with okra and sweet potato
Okra, also known as lady's fingers, is often used to thicken soups and stews because it gives off a glutinous substance when it is cooked.
Buy firm, bright pods that are no more than 10 cm long. Gently scrub the pods with paper towel, then rinse and drain them before trimming the ends.


Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 500g lean leg of lamb, cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 500g orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 250g okra, stalks trimmed, cut crosswise if large


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish over a medium–high heat. Add the lamb and sauté for 5 minutes, or until browned. Transfer the lamb to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining oil.
  4. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in 4 tablespoons of water and cook until the onion is golden brown and tender.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, salt, cayenne pepper and 375ml of water and bring to the boil.
  7. Return the lamb to the dish, then cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  8. Remove the dish from the oven and stir in the okra.
  9. Bake the ragout for a further 15–20 minutes, or until the lamb and okra are tender. Serve immediately.
Each serving provides 1736 kJ, 415 kcal, 35g protein, 19g fat (5g saturated fat), 27g carbohydrate (11g sugars), 7g fibre
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