Bamya ( Lamb or Beef and Okra Stew)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hrs 20 mins
  • Servings: 4
  • Ingredients

  • 6tablespoons unsalted butter or 6tablespoonsolive oil
  • 2lbs stewing lamb or 2lbsbeef, cut into 1 in cube
  • 2onions, finely chopped
  • 2garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1teaspoonground cumin
  • 1teaspoonground coriander
  • 1cuppeeled seeded and chopped tomato
  • 3tablespoonstomato paste
  • 1cup beef stock or 1cupwater, as needed
  • 2tablespoonschopped fresh mint(optional)
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 -1 1/2 lbokra
  • 1lemon, juice of
  • Directions

  • Okra must be cooked so that its slimy texture is eliminated.
  • The Greeks have the best technique for achieving this.
  • Trim the conical tops with a sharp knife, then soak the okra in red wine-viegar (Khall) for 30 minutes, allowing 1/2 cup vinegar per pound.
  • Drain, rinse and dry the okra and proceed with the recipe.
  • This dish is popular throughout the Middle East and can be prepared with lamb or beef.
  • Serve with rice.
  • Preheat an oven to 325 F (165 C).
  • In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 4 tablespoons of the butter or oil.
  • Working in batches, add the meat and fry, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon transfer to a baking dish or stew pot.
  • Add the onions to the fat remaining in the frying pan and saute over medium heat until tender and translucent, 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, tomatoes, tomato paste, the 1 cup stock and mint (if using).
  • Stir well.
  • Pour over the meat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and bake until all the liquid is absorbed, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the okra as directed in the note above.
  • In a saute pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons butter or oil Add the okra and saute for 3 mins, stirring gently.
  • Remove the stew from the oven and arrange the okra on top in a spoke pattern.
  • Sprinkle the lemon juice evenly over the surface.
  • Re-cover the dish and return it to the oven.
  • Bake for 35 minutes longer.
  • Add stock or water if the mixture seems too dry.
  • Serve the”BAMIA” stew piping hot.
  • Reviews

  • “Turned out well, great flavor, but okra was still very slimy even though I attempted the red wine vinegar soak method.Must have done something wrong, since I didn’t notice much of a difference in the okra texture.Am I supposed to immerse the okra completely in the vinegar?Is so, I think it will take a lot more than one cup per pound?I used the single cup and it didn’t come close to providing enough for full immersion.”

  • “This was excellent!I’ve had it before at an Arabic friend’s home and so wanted a recipe for it.I DID soak the okra in vinegar for 30 minutes, used allspice instead of coriander, used 1 can diced tomatoes instead of tomato + paste, used beef stock, no mint and used beef.My 13 yr old son ATE it and loved it.We used okra from our garden – the best okra is the smallest, youngest okra.It’s more tender and almost sweet.Will probably make weekly till okra season is over.”

  • “I am an American and my husband is from the middle east.I really wanted to make something authentic for him and remembered how much we loved the Bamia we had in Qatar.Your recipe was PERFECT!We really enjoyed it and my husband felt like he was back home. My mother insisted I give her the recipe – which I happily forwarded.Thank you for sharing. “

  • “This is our favorite bamia and lamb stew and I have tried a number of recipes. I use bone in lamb shoulder which I simmer for 1 1/2 hours first. I slowly bring it to a boil and skim as required with a poked black loomi (dried lime) added. I use canola oil, an extra garlic clove, canned plum tomatoes chopped with some of their juice in a larger quantity than called for as we like a sauce over rice, I don’t add the tomato paste per preference here. I use some of the lamb stock from simmering with added sea salt when I have to add more liquid. I use fresh (bamia) okra or frozen baby okra (thawed and add freshly squeezed lemon to them not the final cooking, no vinegar needed) For the fresh I do the soaking in regular white vinegar as we don’t use red wine vinegar for religious reasons. I like to use the optional mint. I will be making this again for sure.”

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