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Okra Stew (also called Yakhnit Bamyeh in Arabic) is a delicious hearty stew made with garlic, cilantro, tomato sauce beef and fresh or frozen okra. What I love about the stews we eat is that they are super easy to make in one pot, have a ton of nutrition and they are very comforting in the winter over a warm bowl of rice pilaf.
What is okra?
Okra is a flowering plant that is completely edible and very popular in the Southern States. In my Arabic culture, we also grew up eating Okra in recipes like this Lebanese style Okra Stew (which we call bamia/bamya in Arabic).
How to make okra stew
- Soften the garlic, onion and cilantro.
- Add the okra and spice and cook.
- Add in the tomatoes.
- Add in the tomato paste.
- Add n the water.
- Add in the cooked beef and simmer until thick.
Tips to make this stew
- Use frozen okra in this recipe. Fresh okra will work, but it can become slimy once cooked. If you don’t like the usual texture of okra, you will love this recipe!
- Cut the okra into very large chunks. This helps to prevent the slimy texture many don’t like or you can buy the mini small okras
- Add lemon juice to the okra. When you add the okra to the pot, try adding half or a whole lemon. The acidity of the lemon juice can actually cut the sliminess of the okra.
- Make it vegan. It’s traditional to make this with beef or even with chicken. But because it’s so hearty and filling, it can really stand on its own without any beef or chicken
Frequently asked questions
Like most of my traditional Lebanese stews, we love eating them with Lebanese rice. You can also eat this on its own, with brown rice or with quinoa
Yes, you can use chicken instead or you can make it entirely meatless by adding extra tomatoes and okra and it makes for a wonderful vegan dinner recipe.
Yes, this stew is great for make ahead and freezer meals. Let your okra beef stew cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. It will keep well in the fridge for 3 to 4 days and frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat on the stovetop over a gentle heat until warmed through to serve.
For other similar dishes:
- Peas and Carrots Stew
- Lebanese White Bean Stew
- Middle Eastern Spinach Stew
- Peanut Soup
- Cauliflower Curry
- Easy Butter Chicken
- Red Lentil Curry
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Okra Stew recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
- In a heavy bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the beef and cook for 4-5 minutes without touching. Flip over and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Set the beef aside
- In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil along with the garlic, cilantro and onions and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the frozen okra, salt, pepper and 7 Spice to the garlic cilantro mixture and stir well, coating the okra with the mixture and breaking up the frozen okra. Cook the okra, stirring occasionally until the okra is fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, fresh cut tomatoes and 4 cups of water to the pan. Then return the beef tips, and mix to incorporate everything together. Lower heat to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes until sauce thickens.
- Serve over traditional Arabic rice pilaf and sprinkle fresh cilantro for garnish.