If you love okra, you’ll love this stew! Lebanese Okra Stew with Beef (also known as Bamya) is a thick stew of okra, tomatoes, onion, garlic and beef, is traditionally served throughout Lebanon
Mr. Nomad vehemently dislikes Lebanese Okra Stew. He never gave me a reason and in all of our years of marriage (15 years!) I never made it. He would scowl when we went to his parents house and his mom made it. But this summer, after eating lots of grilled meats, Mr. Nomad’s mom made Lebanese Okra Stew (aka Bamya). I expected him not to eat it since he’s constantly so vocal about his disdain for this dish. After all he’s been telling me for all these years he hates it.
You think you know the man you’ve been married to for nearly 16 years and then he drops this bombshell on you… Needless to say I was shocked when I came back from visiting my cousins in my village, to find out that he ate a huge bowl of it. And loved it!
He always said that Lebanese Okra Stew was too slimy for his taste beds. Okra releases mucilage, the same kind of sliminess that is found in Aloe leaves. He just couldn’t get passed the texture. But there is a little secret to prevent it from becoming a horrible slimy heap of a mess.
Fry the okra before adding it to the stew. That’s it. That’s the big secret.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you could easily remove the beef and just add more okra. But for those of us who eat beef, you’ll love the tenderness of the meat.
Lebanese Okra Stew is served atop a hot bowl of Lebanese Rice- which I swear I will give you the recipe to soon! It’s my mother in laws recipe and it’s de-e-e-e-licious!
Lebanese Okra Stew is the perfect dish to keep you warm!
10 minPrep Time
1 hr, 15 Cook Time
1 hr, 25 Total Time
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 pounds (1 kilo) Okra, tops removed
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Onion, minced
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 bunch of Cilantro, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 pound (500g) Beef, diced small
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 cups Water
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 3 large Tomatoes,diced
- Cut the okra into bite-sized pieces (in thirds or half depending on the size of your okra)
- In a large frying pan, heat the vegetable oil. In batches, fry the okra until crispy. Set aside, but keep warm. Discard the oil.
- In the same frying pan, heat the olive oil. Fry the onions until browned and caramelized. Add the garlic and cilantro and sauté 2 minutes. Set aside but keep warm.
- In a large pot, sauté the beef in 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, until browned on all sides. Stir in the 2 cups of water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 40 minutes or until the meat is very tender. Skim fat that floats to the top.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, fried okra, onions, garlic and cilantro. Stir well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the okra is tender. Discard the bay leaf.
- Enjoy with a Lebanese Rice.