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A big bowl of bamya on a concrete countertop
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4.86 from 7 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
Diet: Halal
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 dutch oven or a large 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 heat.
  • 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 fattah recipe.
Note2: You can use frozen or fresh okra but baby okra is the best. I prefer frozen because it does not have much of the slimy texture as the fresh. But do not worry if you use fresh okra make sure to not wash it until you are ready to use, also try cutting it in bigger chunks.
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 heat 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.
It is easy to turn this into a vegetarian dish by omitting the meat and using vegetable stock.
Serve with:
Rice with vermicelli, white rice, basmati rice or brown rice they all are pretty good with okra. Many people eat it with a loaf of pita bread.
Serve it the Egyptian way with a squeeze of lemon juice.
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