Bamia (Middle Eastern Okra and Meat Stew)
A lightly spiced traditional Middle Eastern dish of tender meat and okra in a tomato sauce.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
- 500 g meat cubes beef or lamb
- 1-2 packs tomato paste 200 g each
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp seven spices
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil to coat the pan
- 2 packs frozen okra slightly thawed
- 3 tomatoes diced
- 2 onions chopped
- 5 cloves garlic roughly sliced
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch sugar
- 10 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 bunches coriander finely chopped
In a pressure cooker, add the meat cubes, one of the diced onions, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, seven spices, and 1 small container tomato paste. Cover with water until it comes about an inch above the meat. After it comes to pressure, cook for 25 minutes or until meat is cooked through and tender and remove from heat.
Coat a large deep skillet or wok with olive oil, and add the second diced onion and the sliced garlic. Sautée until slightly softened, then add the okra (it's fine if it isn't completely thawed). Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, turmeric, and cumin, and keep stirring over medium high heat for around 10 minutes or until cooked through and beginning to turn golden brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes or until tomatoes begin to release their juices. Taste for seasoning.
Add the okra mixture to the cooked meat in the tomato sauce. Put the pan back on the heat, and if you feel it's too watery, add 1/2-1 container of tomato paste (I almost always end up adding this). Add the sugar (optional) and vinegar and let it simmer over low heat for around 10 minutes.
Drizzle a separate small skillet with olive oil, and fry the chopped coriander and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add this on top of the okra stew.
Serve with rice of choice and enjoy!
You can brown the meat in some olive oil before boiling, which will add flavor, but to be honest I always do it without to save time and effort and it tastes just fine! Also, you can of course make this without a pressure cooker, it'll just take more time. If making in a normal saucepan, let mixture come to a boil, then cover and simmer until meat is cooked through around 45 minutes-1 hour.