Caruru — simple version

What makes this carurú (pronounced kah-ruh-ROO) simple is the use of the food processor, and the fact that it’s just an okra side dish. It’s not special, like the ritual version that’s served in Brazil in September to celebrate the festa of São Cosme e São Damião.

1 lb sliced okra, fresh or frozen
2 T olive oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C dried shrimp
1/4 C peanuts
1/4 C cashew pieces
1/2 C water
Diced, seeded tomatoes
Fresh cilantro leaves

Dice the onion finely and saute it in the oil in a large skillet with a lid. When it’s soft and starting to brown, stir in the garlic and the okra. In the food processor (no need to clean it if you’ve just used it for the onion), process the nuts and dried shrimp until they are very finely chopped, almost a paste. Stir this mixture into the pan with the vegetables and add the water. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Garnish with diced tomatoes and cilantro leaves.