Bamia (Egyptian Beef and okra stew)

Bamia (Egyptian Beef and okra stew)

Growing up, this is what my mom made on a regular basis, including every holiday…up until this last thanksgiving…she said it was time for a change:) Basically, this comforting dish is beef stewed in a tomato-garlic sauce with plenty of okra. Traditionally, the beef is boiled to make the broth, then finished off from there. I like browning the beef first to get more color and flavor, but of course that’s optional! Enjoy!


For the beef and stock:

1.5 pounds boneless beef stewing cubes or 3 pounds bone-in Shanks

2 tbsp oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

6 cups water

2 tsp chicken paste

1 onion, halved

1/2 carrot

1 celery

1 bay leaf


For the stew:

1 tbsp oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2  tsp homemade arabic spice (baharat)

1/2 tsp cumin

2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cups passata (tomato puree)

6 cups homemade stock (from boiling the beef shanks)

2 10oz pkgs of frozen sliced okra


Additional ingredients:

2 tbsp ghee, or butter

2 garlic cloves minced

1 tsp ground coriander



1. Season beef with salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil in pot. Add beef in a single layer for a couple of minutes until browned. Turn over and repeat.

3. Add the water, sea salt, pepper, bay leaf, chicken paste, halved onion, carrot and celery. Bring to gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer until beef is tender, around 1 hour.

4. Strain the stock and set aside the beef and the stock. There should be 6 cups stock.

5. Heat oil pot. Add the diced onion, and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in the garlic and spices. 

6. Add beef back in, along with tomato puree and stock. Cook for a couple of minutes.

7. Add the okra. Bring to boil, then simmer, covered for another 15 minutes, until okra is a lighter green colour and tender.

8. In a small separate pan, melt ghee. Add 1 tsp coriander and 2 minced garlic cloves. Stir until combined. Scrape into the stew and stir. Enjoy over white rice!

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