Okra stew, also known as Bamiah Stew, is a hearty and flavourful dish that originates from the Middle East and North Africa.
This dish features tender and succulent lamb shanks slow-cooked in a tomato-based sauce with spices and okra. The combination of savoury lamb, tangy tomatoes, and the unique texture of okra makes for a delicious and comforting meal. It’s a perfect choice for a family dinner or a special occasion. This hearty and comforting Middle Eastern dish is perfect for cooler months, for a cozy family dinner and especially for Iftar during Ramadan. Serve it with Vermicelli rice on the side.
Basic Ingredients for Bamiah Stew
Lamb Shanks: The star ingredient of this dish. It provides the rich and savory flavour that makes this dish so special.
Okra: Adds texture and flavour to the stew. Make sure to slice them thinly and evenly for even cooking.
Aromatics: Bay leaf, cinnamon stick, onion, green chili, and garlic are the aromatics used in this recipe. They add depth and flavour to the dish.
Spices: Coriander and cardamom provide a warm and earthy flavour that complements the lamb and okra.
Tomato Paste and Diced Tomatoes: The base of the sauce gives the stew its tangy and rich tomato flavor.
Beef Stock: Adds depth of flavour to the stew.
Instead of lamb shanks, you can use neck of lamb or lamb cubes. I usually prefer lamb shanks for dinner parties and lamb cubes or weekday meals.
Serving Tips for Bamiah Stew
- This recipe makes a great protein star for lunch or dinner.
- Serve with either Calrose and vermicelli rice or bread on the side.
- Serve while hot for the best results.
- Garnish with a lemon cut into wedges and some fresh parsley.
- Keep cooked Bamiah stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will help it remain fresh and stop bacteria from growing.
- If you plan on freezing your Bamiah stew, transfer it into a freezer-safe container or plastic bag before placing it into the freezer. This will prevent it from absorbing any unwanted flavors or odors.
- When reheating your frozen Bamiah stew, make sure to do so in a pan on the stovetop. Avoid using the microwave as this can cause parts of the dish to become rubbery or tough.
- 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3-4 pieces lamb shank
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 large red onions, chopped
- 1 green chili, remove seeds, and finely chop
- 3 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 500 ml beef stock
- 500 g okra, sliced
- 8-10 garlic cloves
- lemon juice to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Season the lamb shanks with black pepper. In a large cast iron pot, heat the vegetable oil on high heat. Brown the lamb shanks in batches, make sure all sides have been sealed, and keep them on the side.
- In the same pot add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil, chopped onion, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf; saute the onions until they have softened and have a translucent color. Add the green chiles and the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Return the meat and any juices to the pot, add the coriander, cardamom, tomato paste, and some salt, and mix well. Let this cook for a minute, then add the chopped tomatoes and beef stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and taste for salt. Cover the pot and cook for at least 90 minutes, or until the meat has softened.
- Thaw the frozen okra for about 15 minutes. In a shallow frying pot, heat up vegetable oil for frying. Deep fry the baby okra for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat until slightly crispy and light golden brown. Set aside until use. Deep fry the garlic cloves and keep them to the side.
- When the meat is tender, add the fried okra, fried garlic, and lemon juice. Simmer for about 15 more minutes and season with black pepper to taste. Serve with rice.