Bamia – بامية

Bamia and Roz

Bamia, or okra, is the main ingredient in this tasty spring stew, and served over rice. It can be made with meat or vegetarian. Even if you think you know okra, give this recipe a chance! Prepared this way, there isn’t the “slime” factor that okra is notorious for. Okra also has a myriad of health benefits. The superior fiber in okra stabilizes blood sugar, has an abundance of vitamins A and C, and contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and folic acid. I ate a ton of this while I was pregnant, and now my little one loves bamia, too!

While it’s perfectly fine to use the cut, frozen okra or the large, fresh okra from the grocery store, it’s traditionally made with baby okra. If you can’t find the baby okra in the grocery store, Middle Eastern and Arabic stores will carry the frozen, baby bamia. While you’re at the Arabic store you should also pick up a spice blend called “seven spice;” we’ll be using a lot of that, here!

Bamia

And here’s what the bamia looks like when it’s sauteing in the pan with the onions. As it sautes in the vegetable oil, some of the sliminess goes away.

Sauteing Bamia

Serve the bamia with rice and enjoy! Sahtain!

Bamia

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 2 bags of frozen baby bamia or 28oz of fresh baby bamia
  • 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 cups of chicken, beef, or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of salt
  • 1 Tbsp of “seven spice” (available at Middle Eastern/Arabic stores)

Instructions:

Saute the chopped onions and okra in the vegetable oil over medium heat until light gold.
Add the tomato sauce. When it starts to boil add the broth, salt, spice, and garlic.
Once it starts boiling again, cover it and reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

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