One of the first Middle Eastern dishes I learned to cook was my husband’s favourite, Bamia. It is a simple lamb stew cooked with fresh okra and tomato. It is my husband’s favourite dish because it reminds him of his father, who sadly passed away days before they were to be reunited after 11 years a part. So this dish is very special and I try to make sure I only cook it when I am in a good mood so that I can impart much love into the dish. Although we use our own organically grown okra, you can buy them in Asian grocers and farmers markets but be sure to pick the small tender ones for this recipe.
500 grams lamb shoulder or leg chopped into small pieces
3 onions roughly diced
1 tablespoon ground tumeric
1 tablespoons of olive oil
4 diced tomato
6 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
400 grams okra
1 teaspoon salt
In a large saucepan place the meat, onion, turmeric and add enough cold water to just cover the meat. Bring to the boil and simmer until the water has evaporated and a nice thick sauce of onion and meat is made.
To the meat add 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the meaty sauce for a minute or two.
Add the tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste and salt, allowing to cook for a minute before adding the okra and boiling water to cover the stew.
Simmer until the meat is cooked and the sauce is thickish. Add more water as necessary until it is all cooked.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
My husband likes to serve the Bamia in a big bowl over torn flatbread, soaking up the juices and eating it by hand. I like it as a soupy stew that I can dip my bread into. Either way it is a simple dish that is sure to warm the heart.