Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home3/foodofeg/public_html/wp-content/themes/FoodOfEgypt/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

Bamya – Egyptian Okra Stew

A hearty Okra stew, typically served with lamb or beef, or skip the meat for a vegeterian variation.

 

My grandma, a busy working woman, didn’t spend much time in the kitchen.  Still, she was known to make two dishes really well and Bamya was one of them.  She was very meticulous in all what she did.  And her bamya recipe was a great demo of that.  My grandma and I used to share a special bonding moment when the two most famous soccer teams, Ahly & Zamalek, played against each other.  Everyone in our household rooted for Ahly except her.  So, to give her company, I chose to root for Zamalek just so that she wasn’t by herself. By now you must be thinking, what does soccer have anything to do with Bamya??? Decades passed and I got on twitter during Egypt’s Jan25 revolution.  I followed many of the revolutionists including the great @gemyhood.  It turned out that he’s a big “Zamalek” fan.  Not only that, he made a killer Bamya recipe.  So from the only two big Zamalek fans in my life, I’m happy to share with you the best bamya recipe I ever had.

Serving Ideas: Bamya is typically served with spaghetti or pita bread and a side salad.

Condiments: Serve with wedges of lemons or limes. Add more heat and serve it with slices of your favorite chili peppers.

Serving Size: 4-6 persons

Ingredients:
8 large cubes of lamb or beef
1 medium onion, peeled
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbs Cooking Oil
6 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
3 medium ripened tomatoes
3 cups frozen bamya (About 400 grams / 1 lb, cleaned up and ready to cook)

Directions:
Prepare the Meat:
~ In a medium saucepan, add the meat cubes,onion and 2 cups of water to cover it.
~ Bring to a boil and add the salt.
~ Reduce the heat. Cover the saucepan and cook for 20 minutes.
~ Your meat and broth are ready.  Cut each meat cube in smaller bites.  And discard the onion.

Prepare the Okra:
~ In a large saucepan, heat the oil then add the garlic and stir fry until cooked but not browned.
~ Dice up the tomatoes really small.
~ Add the tomatoes and their juices into the saucepan.
~ Mix well and let it simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.
~ Add the okra and mix well.  Then add the meat and mix well. Let it cook for 3 minutes.
~ Add the broth and bring to a boil.
~ Lower the heat. Cover the saucepan and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
~ Your bamya is now ready to serve.

Variations:
For a vegeterian dish, skip the meats and use a vegetable stock or water instead.

~ Bel Hana ~

Best Places to Try this Dish in Egypt:
~ Restaurants serving Authentic Egyptian Food
~ My grandma’s kitchen :)

Tags: , , , , , ,

12 Responses to “Bamya – Egyptian Okra Stew”

  1. Grace
    June 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    I was just wondering were one can get things like bemya

    • FoodOfEgypt
      June 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Grace. Middle Eastern stores are all around the world now. With search engines like Google, you can look up stores near you. In some countries, okra (bamya) can be found in the neighborhood’s grocery stores since Indian and Cajun cuisines use it too.

  2. June 14, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Okra (or lady fingers) plays a huge role in a number of the cuisines of West African countries. This is the first time I am seeing it written about in North African cuisine. So excited to try this variety!

  3. Ezzat
    December 8, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    This is one of the most favorite Egyptian dishes. For ectraflavour add 1/2 teaspoonful of ground coriander or 3 tablespoonful fresh chopped coriander(cilantro). Alternatively fresh dill works wonders to the flavor. Serve with fried rice Egyptian style.

  4. Albert
    February 6, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    Hello, how do you prepare green bamya, just with garlic and no tomato sauce, AKA Weka? Thanks.

    • FoodOfEgypt
      February 8, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Hello Albert, Thanks for the great question. I heard my grandpa loved weeka, I’ve been dying to try it myself. Now you gave me another reason to do so :) We’ll test it and post it soon.

  5. Heidi
    April 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    Hi! The recipe Ingredients do not include how much broth to use. Can you please clarify? Also, can you use canned tomato sauce, canned crushed tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes to replace the 3 ripe tomatoes? If so, what size can and how many? Thanks!

    • FoodOfEgypt
      June 2, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

      The broth is about 2 cups. You can use a can of diced tomatoes but strain it from most of its liquid first. If you like a thicker sauce, then go for crushed tomatoes. Just enough tomatoes to the equivalent of the 3 ripe tomatoes. ~ Bel hana ~

  6. July 15, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    I DO A VEGGIE VERSION TO YOUR DISH…I LOVE THE SPICES..AND I ALSO USE FROZEN BABY OKRA,, AS ITS DIFFICULT TO GET THE FRESH BABY OKRA….WE GET THE NORMAL SIZED ONE ALL YEAR ROUND IN LONDON…….ITS WONDERFUL THE FROZEN BABY OKRAS ,,,JUST 15 MINS BEFORE THE DISH IS READY EMPTY THE SACK OF FROZEN BABY OKRA IN THE POT AND ++++++ V O I L A……ITS TIME TO PLATE UP….ALL THE BEST………QUERINO DE=FREITAS………..

  7. Nancy
    June 20, 2015 at 2:32 am #

    As a non egyptian wife of an Egyptian husband I am pleased to say this recipe was well received by him. I followed the recipe except cooking the meat longer. It was seasoned well and had good flavor. Next time I would try to find baby okra or cut it into smaller pieces. Thank you for the recipe.

  8. Soumaya
    June 6, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    HI,
    I AM HALF EGYPTIAN AND HALF IVORIAN (COTE D’IVOIRE). AND I REALLY LOVE THE BAMYA WITH MINCED BEEF WITH THE TRADITIONAL EGYPTIAN BREAD (EICH BALADI) OR RICE WITH VERMICEL (ROZ BEL CHAAREYAH) AND ALL THESE IS COOKED WITH THE CHEE BUTTER (SAMNAH BALADI).
    IS AMAZING

  9. Karim
    August 28, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    Hi! Just noticed your site. Interesting adaptations. My father was Egyptian born in 1920 and I learned a few things from him. He used to watch his mother at home and told me that his family cooked the Egyptian Osmanli(Ottoman) way. I watched him make Bamia once and it was a piece of art. Using fresh baby bamia, he would line up each bamia next to each other making circles in the saucepan tightly packed with a hole in the centre to keep the meat. The effect was spectacular when serving as you would plate the whole saucepan in one motion upside down. He also gave me a tip to remove any slime from the okra. Just lightly fry in butter before aligning the saucepan.Also, to prepare the meat, he would use veal and seal/stir fry it with 6 whole cloves of garlic while stirring on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. the effect would be disinigration and browning of garlic and then meat. Fantastic flavour. OK not the lightest version, but can;t be beaten in terms of taste nor presentation. My dad was a stickler for not cutting corners in cooking. Not convenient in modern day world but fond memories in him telling me I was cutting onions the balady way:) Thanks for your blog. I have a few of my own egyptian recipes if interested.

Leave a Reply