Bamia Delight: Okra with Tomato Stew


Indulge in the rich and savory flavors of Bamia, a traditional Middle Eastern dish that celebrates the humble okra. This tomato-based stew is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients. Whether you're familiar with okra or trying it for the first time, Bamia offers a comforting and hearty meal that will quickly become a favorite in your recipe repertoire.

Bamia Delight: Okra with Tomato Stew

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 4
  • Serving Size: 1 bowl (approx. 300g)

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 180 kcal
  • Protein: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Sodium: 400mg


  • 500g (1.1 lbs) fresh okra, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400g (14 oz) canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 500ml (2 cups) vegetable broth
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare the Okra: Rinse the okra under cold water and pat dry. Trim the stems without cutting into the pods.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics: In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the Tomatoes and Spices: Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  4. Incorporate the Okra: Add the okra to the pot and stir to coat with the tomato mixture.
  5. Simmer the Stew: Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until the okra is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Finish with Lemon Juice: Stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  7. Garnish and Serve: Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro or parsley.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Selecting Okra: Choose small, tender pods for the best texture. Larger okra can be tough and fibrous.
  • Avoiding Sliminess: Do not over-stir the okra while it cooks, as this can cause it to become slimy. Keeping the pods whole helps minimize this effect.
  • Flavor Enhancements: For a deeper flavor, consider adding a pinch of smoked paprika or a bay leaf during the simmering stage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use frozen okra for this recipe?

  • Yes, frozen okra can be used. Thaw it completely and pat dry before adding to the stew to avoid excess moisture.

Is this dish vegan-friendly?

  • Absolutely! This recipe is completely vegan as it uses vegetable broth and no animal products.

What can I serve with Bamia?

  • Bamia pairs wonderfully with rice, flatbread, or couscous to soak up the delicious tomato sauce.

Experience the warmth and comfort of Middle Eastern cuisine with this delectable Bamia. Each spoonful of this okra and tomato stew promises a burst of flavor and a sense of home. Gather around the table and enjoy the simplicity and depth of this timeless dish. Happy cooking!