Okra is commonly associated in Southern, Creole, and Cajun cooking since it was initially introduced into the United States in the southern region. Outside of the US, it is often known as lady’s finger. For those who are not familiar with okra, it can be gooey when cooked. To minimize the sliminess, keeping the pods whole and cooking it quickly helps.
With some leftover roasted lamb meat from my post Sumac and Rosemary Crusted Lamb, I search the web for another Middle Eastern recipe that uses lamb and okra and came across this dish called Bamia or Okra Stew which originated from Egypt. This stew is usually cooked with lamb or beef in a tomato based sauce flavored with cumin and coriander. I added chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and a little turmeric, not only for the flavor but also to give it a nice, rich color. This Okra and Chickpea Stew has a slightly tangy taste from the tomatoes and a smoky flavor from the roasted meat.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 oz (115g) roasted lamb, cubed
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ cups(360ml) water
- 1 can (15 oz/425g) chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 12 oz (340g) okra, trimmed
- 2 tomatoes, cubed
In a heated pan, add olive oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add roasted lamb, ground cumin, coriander, and turmeric. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, water, chickpeas, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Add okra and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium low and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove and serve immediately with basmati rice or couscous.
This Okra and Chickpea Stew is wonderful served with basmati rice, hummus, pickled olives and peppers.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!