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A big bowl of bamya on a concrete countertop
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5 from 2 votes

Bamya (Okra stew)

Bamya with meat is a delicious Mediterranean stew. Lamb, okra and tomatoes are cooked with a bunch of spices and herbs to make this fragrant okra stew.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Egyptian, Middle East
Servings: 6
Calories: 299.4kcal
Author: Amira


For boiling the lamb:

  • 2 mastic pieces.
  • 1 pound lamb. Note1
  • 1 small onion.
  • 2 garlic clove.
  • 1 small carrot cut into chunks.
  • 1 celery stalk cut into chunks.
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon 7-spice blend.
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom.
  • 2 bay leaves.

For the okra stew:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 medium (200g) onion, diced.
  • 5 garlic cloves minced (1.5 Tablespoons).
  • 1/2 Tablespoon freshly ground coriander.
  • 2 jalapeño pepper. leave out or replace by bell pepper if you do not want the heat.
  • 2 Tablespoon fresh cilantro chopped.
  • 1 bag (14oz) frozen baby okra. Note2
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 can (15oz) tomato sauce.
  • 2 cups broth. beef or lamb.
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

For the garlic relish/mix (Tasha):

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil.
  • 5 Garlic cloves minced.
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground coriander.
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon red chili pepper diced. Optional for extra heat


Cook the lamb:

  • In a deep pot over high heat bring about 4 liter of water to a boil.
  • Add lamb pieces to the boiling water and wait for it to go back to boiling again. Let it rapidly boil for 3-4 minutes.
  • With a slotted spoon take the meat out and dump all the water. Note3
  • In the same pot add some tap water again with mastic and onion and bring to a boil.
  • Add lamb pieces back on with all the rest of spices, herbs and vegetable.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until done. Will take about 20 minutes.

Cook the okra:

  • In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion, garlic and coriander then sauté for about 2-3 minute until fragrant.
  • Add chopped cilantro, stir until fragrant for almost another 30 seconds.
  • Add jalapeño peppers and keep stirring for a minute.
  • Now, mix in the okra and tomato paste.
  • Pour in tomato sauce and broth.
  • Add salt and pepper and bring the whole mixture to a gentle boil.
  • Reduce heat and cover, let it simmer on low for 20 minutes.Note4
  • Add cooked lamb and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or until okra is tender.

Make the garlic topping (Tasha):

  • Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high.
  • Add garlic, cilantro, coriander and pepper if using.
  • Sauté until mixture is fragrant, this will take about two to three minutes.
  • Add half the mixture to the okra stew, stir and keep simmering for another 3-4 minutes. Note5


  • Serve okra stew topped with the remaining Tasha mixture.


Note1: You can use beef, cook beef as we did in the fatal recipe.
Note2: You can use any okra fresh or frozen but baby okra is the best.
Note3: If you feel that the water is so greasy and lamb still has unpleasant smell, repeat the process of boiling then dumping the water once more.
Note4: Scorching okra is very easy, to prevent that you’ll need to cook it on low and stir it a couple of times just to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Note5: My chili pepper was so hot so I did not add it to the okra because I did not want to make it too hot for my kids. Instead, I served it all on top of individual servings.
Note6: Okra stew keeps very well in the fridge and it is actually better the next day.
Serve with:
Rice with vermicelli goes pretty good with okra, many people eat it with a loaf of pita bread. Serve it the Egyptian way with a squeeze of lemon.
Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.
Vitamins are in percentage value. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Calories: 299.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.3g | Protein: 20.2g | Fat: 18.5g | Saturated Fat: 3.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.7g | Cholesterol: 49.1mg | Potassium: 761.2mg | Fiber: 4.4g | Sugar: 7.4g | Vitamin A: 13.5IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 16.3mg