Bamya Recipe – Egyptian Edition
Okra is a vegetable that is rich in vitamins and minerals. And although it’s not widely popular, it’s still respected in the vegetables kingdom. Sometimes one might find it hard to incorporate into one’s diet, because let’s face it, there aren’t many recipes out there that require or even suggest the use of okra. As a result, we have this amazing vegetable that is severely underappreciated.
Well, this is not the case in the Egyptian cuisine. Although okra recipes are still limited, it’s not completely left out.
How to eat okra (a.k.a. bamya)?
The Egyptians have managed to find a way to incorporate it into their cuisine and recipes. One of those recipes is the Egyptian Okra dish, or as they call it “Bamia” is a delicious, easy to make dish. Bamya is made by cooking the okra in a delicious, rich tomato sauce, and served with either white rice or with a dish of Egyptian rice, along with protein of choice. Most Egyptian individuals tend to make it by adding bits of beef to the sauce, which just adds a whole new level of richness to the final dish.
Vegetarian/vegan option for bamya
Just because some prefer to do it by including beef, doesn’t mean everyone does. As this dish is very flexible and can be made meat-free and still turns out amazing. Read the recipe below to find out how you can make this delicious recipe from the comfort of your own home, and how you can turn it vegan and vegetarian friendly to suit all preferences.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups okra, fresh or frozen (thawed)
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 lb stewing beef, cooked (optional)
- 500ml tomato juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Saute the onion for 1 minute or until soft.
Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
Stir in the okra and mix to combine.
Add the lemon juice and mix well.
Stir in the cooked beef and combine. (skip this for a vegetarian/vegan option).
Stir in the tomato juice, cumin, black pepper, sugar, and tomato paste and mix to combine.
Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes over low heat.
Uncover and simmer for 20 minutes or until okra is completely cooked.
Season with salt to taste and serve with Egyptian white rice and salad.