Healthy Recipe: Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dip

By Becca Knutson
Community Garden Coordinator, Tarrant Area Food Bank

October is a charming time of year. The leaves are changing colors, the nights are getting cooler and autumn decor is popping up in our homes and on our doors. At Tarrant Area Food Bank’s Learning Garden, we are preparing for our fall and winter garden by planting broccoli and cabbage, radishes and beets. However, there is still a summer favorite that will tower over us until the first sign of frost.

The mighty okra plant can grow to be over six feet tall and has beautiful pale yellow flowers that resemble hibiscus blooms. Since May, the okra plants have been thriving, taking in the hot summer sun and gifting us with an abundance of soft green, edible seed pods that are a favorite for many families.

The Sept. 6 Kitchen Garden Cooking School “Harvest Series” class on okra featured three TAFB-staff approved recipes that demonstrated different cooking methods and offered guests some delicious options beyond fried okra and gumbo. Okra can be baked, boiled, pan-fried, steamed and stir-fried.

This recipe is a great way to use all that garden-fresh okra and will have everyone coming back for seconds!

Okra for Okra Cornmeal Cakes

Okra Cornmeal Cakes with Cilantro Lime Yogurt Dip

Recipe by Running to the Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups okra, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup canola or olive oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1. Combine the cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and water.

3. Add the egg and water mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir together with a spatula.

4. Mix in the okra, jalapeno, red pepper and garlic.

5. Season generously with salt and pepper.

6. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

7. Once hot, form the batter into patties and pan fry on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

8. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

9. Mix the yogurt, lime and cilantro together in a small bowl and serve with the hot cakes.

For more information about our Kitchen Garden Cooking School “Harvest Series” classes, visit:

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