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okra stew over rice with scallions
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5 from 5 votes

Bamya (Middle Eastern Okra Stew with Lamb)

Middle Eastern Okra Stew or Bamya is so tasty, especially when served with vermicelli rice.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: entree, Main Dish
Cuisine: Assyrian, Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 490kcal


  • 1 pound lamb chunks
  • 2 cups baby okra
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 6 ounce canned tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon medium tomato (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice


  • Slice meat into 3” pieces and wash in a strainer, until the water runs clear. Place meat in a 5-quart Dutch oven and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
  •  If using fresh okra, wash and trim the end by cutting around the “cap” to form a cone shape. If using pickled okra, rinse well before using.
  • Remove meat from the pot and pour out any remaining liquid. Rinse the pot and place the meat back inside. Add vegetable or olive oil, onion, and paprika to the meat. Sauté, over medium-high heat, to brown the meat.
  • Mix tomato paste into 4 cups hot water, stir to dissolve. Add to the pot, along with garlic, okra, chopped tomato, salt, and lemon juice. Simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Serve Bamya over white rice.


  • When choosing okra, pick the ones that are green, firm, and without blemishes. If they are not in season, there are other great options. Most Middle Eastern markets have the frozen variety, which is perfect in this recipe.
  • If you can't find frozen okra, there's always pickled okra too. Just be sure to purchase the petite variety and that they are whole, not sliced. 
  • If you'd like to make this Bamya using a pressure cooker, follow the instructions in my Ladies Fingers Okra Stew post.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 756mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 21g