Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Egyptian Bamia

I cooked bamia & served it with crusty baguettes for Hari Raya Haji. This time, I chose the Egyptian-style which is different from the bamia I'm more familiar with. Unlike the Indian-curry version which uses more spices, this one has very little ground cumin & coriander, resulting in a delicious tomato-flavoured meat stew. The cooking method is also different in that instead of solely cooking the dish on the stove, this version also requires cooking in the oven for one & a half hours. My family loves this dish, so I'll definitely be cooking it more often.

Egyptian Bamia
(Lamb/Beef & Okra Casserole)

1kg boneless stewing lamb or beef (I used beef.)
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup stock or water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

500g fresh okra
1 tbsp ghee
1 quantity Ta'leya (Refer to recipe below.)
fresh mint leaves (I added.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 150–160°C.
  2. Trim the meat and cut into 3 cm cubes. 
  3. Melt the ghee or butter in a heavy-based saucepan and brown the meat on all sides, adding a single layer of meat to the pan at a time. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  4. Reduce the heat, add the onion to the pan and fry gently until translucent. Add the cumin, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock and stir well to dissolve the browned sediment.
  5. Pour the mixture over the lamb or beef. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and bake for 1½ hours.
  6. To finish the dish, prepare the okra. Dry very well with paper towels or a cloth. Melt the ghee in a frying pan, add the okra and fry over medium heat for 3 minutes, tossing gently.
  7. Arrange the okra over the stew, then cover and bake for a further 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
  8. Prepare the ta’leya and pour while hot over the okra. Add in mint leaves & stir well.
  9. Serve from the casserole dish.
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsps samneh or clarified butter (I used QBB ghee.)
1 tsp ground coriander
pinch of hot chili pepper

Crush garlic with salt in a mortar. Alternatively crush in a garlic press & mix with salt. Heat samneh or butter in a small pan & add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, remove pan from heat & stir in coriander & pepper. Use while sizzling hot as directed in recipes.

Recipe by Tess Mallos from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook.

I'm linking this post to the Cook-Your-Books event no. 17 hosted by  Kitchen Flavours.

1 comment:

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Faeez,
such a delicious dish! I can see why your family loves it so!
Thanks for linking with CYB!

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