Bamyeh

Bamyeh, or okra, is a dish found at many Middle Eastern dinners. It's a very heartwarming dish and very, very filling! Bamyeh is cooked in different ways throughout the Middle East. Some cook it with oil and garlic, eaten with bread or rice while others dice some tomatoes to mix in. My favorite recipe for bamyeh is a stew cooked with beef chunks. 

Bamyeh ​

Servings: 4 

Prep Time: 20 minutes 

Cook Time: 60 minutes 

Ingredients: 

1 frozen bag of okra (size 0)* 

1 pound beef stew, cut into 1 inch pieces 

6 garlic cloves, minced 

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 

1/2 small onion, sliced 

4 bay leaves 

5 cups water 

 

Directions: 

1) In a pressure cooker, add 5 cups of water, beef stew, onion, and bay leaves. Cook on medium high heat for 25 minutes, after the pressure cooker begins to whistle. 

2) Once the meat is fully cooked, let the pressure cooker release all the air. Reserve the beef broth. Set meat aside. 

3) In a pot, heat 1/4 cup of vegetable oil on medium heat. Add the okra and cook for 15 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oil, drain, and set aside. 

4) In a medium sized pot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and heat on low. Add the minced garlic, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds, or until cooked. Make sure the garlic doesn't burn! 

5) Add the tomato paste, salt, and 3 cups of the reserved broth to the garlic. Stir until its incorporated. Add the cooked okra and cook on medium heat until the stew is boiling. 

6) Once the stew begins to boil, lower the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. 

7) Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with my white vermicelli rice or warm pita bread. 

Notes: 

* I prefer to use size 0 okra because the pieces are small. You can find this okra at any Middle Eastern or international grocery store. Generally, smaller okra is softer than the larger okra (size 1, size 2). You can also use fresh okra but make sure to pick out the smaller pieces. If using fresh okra, slice off a bit of the top and bottom of each piece and continue to cook as per the recipe.