Vegetable oil: 50 ml and 2 tablespoons extra
6 rashers bacon, finely chopped
21/2 tablespoons plain flour
Onions: two big, finely chopped
Cayenne pepper: 1D2 teaspoon
Red pepper: 1, Seeded and chopped
Green Pepper: 1, seeded and chopped
Okra: 15-16 trimmed and halved lengthways
Bay leaf: one
Tomatoes: 800-900 gm, canned
Raw prawns: 1 kg, peeled and de-veined, but tails should be left intact
Tabasco sauce: 1 teaspoon
Salt: As per your taste
Black pepper: Freshly ground (quantity as required)
Heat the 50 ml oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook by continuous stirring, until the flour turns nutty brown. No lumps of flour should be formed. Then remove it from the pan and keep separately. This mixture, known as a roux, will be used to thicken and flavor the gumbo.
Heat the extra 2 tablespoons oil in the saucepan, add the onion, cayenne and peppers, and cook while stirring, over a higher-medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onion is golden brown.
Now this is the time to add the okra, bay leaf and tomatoes to the saucepan, and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. You may choose to add water if the mixture is too thick.
Add the prawns and the roux into the mixture, stir well, add the Tabasco and season it with salt and pepper. Now cook the mix for about 5 minutes or until the prawns are cooked. Serve hot.
Eat and smile.