Okra stew is a hearty classic Middle Eastern dish made with baby okra, beef shanks that fall apart and infused with sautéed garlic and cilantro in a thickened tomato-based broth. Let’s give this recipe a try!
What Is Okra?
Okra, known as bamia or bamya, in Arabic is a flowering plant known for its edible seed pods. The earthy flavor of okra tends to be mild, almost grassy.
Okra is packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin K, potassium, etc. In addition, okra is a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidants.
How to Serve Bamia Stew?
In middle eastern countries, a fulfilling and satisfying stew is served on a warm bed of fluffy grain.
A squeeze of lemon is also a tangy yummy addition to your delicious bamia stew.
Some Middle Eastern people enjoy the stew with flatbread or pita bread. You can choose Lebanese flatbread or any other type.
Okra Stew Variations
Chicken okra stew: If you are a fan of chicken stews, then this is great news for you. Bamia stew can be made with chicken thighs or breasts instead of beef shanks.
Vegan okra stew: Even if you are vegan, you can enjoy this hearty stew. To make vegan okra stew, skip the use of meat whether it was beef or chicken. Also, use vegetable broth and vegetable bouillon in place of meat broth and regular bouillon cubes.
Hearty Warm Dish
Tips and Tricks
Use frozen okra to make this stew. Fresh okra also works for this recipe, but you may end with a slimy stew.
It is better to use baby okra so you will not have to cut them and they don’t release their enzymes.
Don’t thaw frozen okra. Add them directly to the pot from the freezer and sauté until slightly browned.
If you don’t have fresh coriander, opt for coriander powder even if it doesn’t have the same authentic flavor. Don’t skip the use of this fragrant ingredient.
Add broth to cover the sautéed okra and other ingredients.
For a less fatty stew broth, add water instead of broth. Make sure to add adjust the use of salt accordingly.
A squeeze of lemon juice into the pot when boiling the okra stew is great since the acidity of the juice can cut the sliminess of the okra.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To make a thick okra recipe, reduce the quantity of broth you add. You can also simmer the stew longer to get the desired consistency or add more chopped tomato cubes.
Let the stew leftovers cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container and storing them in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days.
Yes, it can be frozen in a sealed container for up to three months. When you are ready to serve, thaw the stew overnight in the refrigerator.
Reheat the bamia stew covered in a nonstick pot on the stove over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until hot. You can also heat it in the microwave for about 3 minutes.
Enjoy the Authentic Flavor
- beef shanks
- bags of frozen baby okra
- olive oil or avocado oil
- bunch of cilantro, chopped
- garlic cloves, minced
- medium tomato, largely cubed
- 7 spices
- tomato paste
- bouillon cubes
- a squeeze of one lemon (optional)
(Scroll down for recipe details)
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Okra Stew – Bamia
- 1½ pounds beef shanks
- 2 14 ounces bags of frozen baby okra
- ¼ cup olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 1 medium tomato largely cubed
- 1½ tablespoons 7 spices
- 1 can tomato paste
- 2 bouillon cubes
- squeeze of lemon
- In a pressure cooker, add beef shanks, black pepper, seven spices, and water and cook for 1 hour.
- Add avocado oil and the baby okra to a large pot and sauté until slightly browned. Add in the garlic and cilantro and sauté for a minute longer.
- Add the tomato paste, seven spices, bouillon cubes, cooked beef shanks, sifted beef broth (enough to cover the okra), and cubed tomatoes.
- Boil for a few minutes then simmer for 20-25 minutes. You can squeeze half of a lemon into the pot. Enjoy with rice!
- Use frozen okra to make this stew. Fresh okra also works for this recipe, but you may end with a slimy stew.
- It is better to use baby okra so no need to cut them and they don’t release their enzymes.
- Don’t thaw frozen okra, add them directly to the pot from the freezer and sauté until slightly browned.
- A squeeze of lemon juice into the pot when boiling the okra stew is great since the acidity of the juice can cut the sliminess of the okra.