Simply Lebanese

Okra Stew

Okra Stew
  • Prep Time
    20 mins
  • Cook Time
    75 mins
  • Serving
    6
Fried okra is simmered in a flavored garlic tomato sauce with beef stew cubes and served on a bed of white rice with vermicelli noodles. This Middle-Eastern stew known as Bamya w Roz is hearty and delicious.
Okra Stew

This Okra Stew or Bamya w Roz is one of my all-time favorites from the Middle-Eastern collections of stews. A Middle-Eastern stew is called a “yekhne.”

This ‘yekhne’ is such a versatile dish, that it is made not only in every household in Lebanon, but throughout various households in the Middle-East and Northern Africa. The flavors vary a bit from country to country, but the idea of these stews is basically the same.

How to Make Bamya w Roz

The Lebanese technique of making yekhnes starts out pretty much the exact same way every time. The base is made by sautéing crushed garlic with fresh chopped cilantro in any neutral oil, followed by adding the main vegetable (okra, white beans, green beans, peas and carrots or potatoes). Next, homemade broth is made by boiling the protein, and added with the tomato sauce, beef stew cubes or chicken and simmered all together. You can also opt to skip the protein and use vegetable broth to keep this dish vegetarian.

In this okra stew, beef cubes are always used. I use beef shanks but, you can use whatever beef you use for stew. You can use either bone-in meat or bone free, depending on your preference. I almost always use a pressure cooker to cook beef stew cubes or bone-in beef because it cuts the cooking time by at least 45 minutes!

As for the okra, baby okra is most commonly used. However, if you cannot find baby okra, you can use larger varieties and chop them to about 2 inches in size. I tend to use the frozen baby okra that I find at my local Middle-Eastern grocer.

If you do not own a pressure cooker, you can boil the beef in any pot. The directions are the same except instead of setting a timer for 20 minutes, it will need about 50-60 minutes. I use the Zavor ZPot 10 Quart 15-PSI Pressure Cooker and Canner because it’s very easy to use and clean.

Air-fried Okra Directions

Alternatively, you can cook the okra in the air-fryer instead of deep-frying. I put the entire bag of frozen okra into the air-fryer basket and drizzled with some avocado oil. You can also use non-stick spray as well. I air-fried the okra for 20 minutes at 390F. Make sure to shake the basket (toss the okra) to get crispy on all sides.

Okra Stew

This is a much healthier option than deep-frying since you will use significantly less oil in the cooking process. The okra still comes out crispy and delicious and since the okra is eventually submerged in a tomato sauce, you can barely notice the difference from deep-frying.

This dish is so hearty and delicious that if you are not a fan of okra, this stew will change your mind!

STEP 1

Begin by boiling the beef. Add the beef to your pressure cooker and add enough water to cover the meat and a few inches higher. Do not cover at this time. Boil for 10 minutes on high heat. Throw away the first batch of water and rinse out the meat from excess fat. 1. Add 6-8 cups of water to the beef along with whatever you typically use to boil meat. I like to add a half small onion, 1 large bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, a few cloves, 2 teaspoons of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Cover with lid and set the pressure cooker on the highest level over medium-high heat.

Once the pressure cooker begins to whistle after 7-10 minutes, lower the heat to medium and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and let pressure cooker release the steam. Set aside with the fresh broth. **

Okra Stew

STEP 2

Thaw the frozen okra for about 15 minutes. Heat up vegetable oil for frying. Deep fry the baby okra for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat until slightly crispy and light golden brown. Set aside until use.

Okra Stew

STEP 3

Wash the fresh cilantro and cut off the stems. Finely chop.

STEP 4

Crush the garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt using a wooden mortar and pestle if possible. Add the chopped cilantro and garlic to a large pot with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Sautée for 3-4 minutes on low-medium heat.

STEP 5

Add the fried okra to the cilantro/garlic mixture and add enough beef broth to cover all the ingredients and a bit more (6-8 cups).

STEP 6

Add the cooked beef, crushed tomato, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of dried coriander. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

STEP 7

To make the rice, begin by washing the white rice 3 times in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetable oil to the pot and heat up for a minute on medium-high heat. Add the vermicelli noodles and cook until brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the washed rice and mix well. Add the water and salt and lower the heat to medium-low. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes.

Check out the recipe for rice with vermicelli noodles here.

Serve the okra stew with the rice and enjoy!

Okra Stew
Okra Stew

Okra Stew (Bamya)

Fried okra is simmered in a flavored garlic tomato sauce with beef stew cubes and served on a bed of white rice with vermicelli noodles. This Middle-Eastern stew known as Bamya w Roz is hearty and delicious.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese
Keyword: bamya, okra stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 357kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

Stew

  • 2 14oz. Okra Frozen Bags
  • 1 lb. Beef Stew Cubes
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro Chopped
  • 12 cloves Garlic
  • cups Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 tb. Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying
  • 1 tsp. Dried Coriander
  • 4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ½ Small Onion
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick

Rice

  • cup Long Grain White Rice
  • cup Vermicelli Noodles
  • 2 tb. Vegetable Oil
  • cups Water
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Instructions

  • Begin by boiling the beef. Add the beef to your pressure cooker along with enough water to cover the meat plus a few inches. Do not cover at this time. Boil for 10 minutes on high heat. Throw away the first batch of water and rinse out the meat from excess fat. Add 6-8 cups of water to the beef along with whatever you typically use to boil meat. I like to add a half small onion, 1 large bay leaf, 1 cinnamon stick, a few cloves, 2 teaspoons of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Cover with lid and set the pressure cooker on the highest level over medium-high heat. 
    Once the pressure cooker begins to whistle after 7-10 minutes, lower the heat to medium and set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off heat and let pressure cooker release the steam. Set aside with the fresh broth. **
  • Thaw the frozen okra for about 15 minutes. Heat up vegetable oil for frying. Deep fry the baby okra for about 8-10 minutes on medium heat until slightly crispy and light golden brown. Set aside until use. 
  • Wash the fresh cilantro and cut off the stems. Finely chop. It should come to about a cup or so of chopped cilantro. 
  • Crush the garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt using a wooden mortar and pestle if possible. Add the chopped cilantro and garlic to a large pot with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on low-medium heat. 
  • Add the fried okra to the cilantro/garlic mixture and add enough beef broth to cover all the ingredients and a bit more (6-8 cups).
  • Add the cooked beef, crushed tomato, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of dried coriander. Simmer on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
  • To make the rice, begin by washing the white rice 3 times in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetable oil to the pot and heat up for a minute on medium-high heat. Add the vermicelli noodles and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the washed rice and mix well. Add the water and salt and lower the heat to medium-low. Cover and let cook for 12-15 minutes. 
  • Serve the okra stew with the rice and enjoy!

Notes

If you do not own a pressure cooker, you can boil the beef in any pot. The directions are the same except instead of setting a timer for 20 minutes, it will need about 50-60 minutes. I use the Zavor ZPot 10 Quart 15-PSI Pressure Cooker and Canner because it's very easy to use and clean.

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 1736mg | Potassium: 559mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 257IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 3mg

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    Recipe Reviews

    • Nicole B

      Can’t wait to make this!

      To clarify- since I do not have a pressure cooker – I would continue to just boil the beef for 50 minute instead of the 20 minutes in pressure cooker? And continue on with the recipe as follows?

      Thank you!

      • Iman

        Yes! The beef needs at least 50 minutes to cook, but up to 90 minutes depending on your cut of beef, and size of it.

    • Moody Siyyadeh

      5 stars
      Hey!! How do you alter this recipe if you want to use fresh okra?

      Thank you

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