FRIED CORNMEAL OKRA | Okra is originally from West Africa, for it was introduced to the American South by the Atlantic Slave trade. Traditional African-American recipes mix okra with tomatoes, lima beans and corn. Find them in soups or stews such as gumbo and jambalaya. In this recipe, okra is fried in a cornmeal batter. Instead of eating fried okra by itself, try adding Fried Cornmeal Okra in a salad of romaine lettuce, corn, tomatoes, green bell peppers and grilled chicken.