Okra is a very low-calorie vegetable. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and is a rich source of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. If not cooked properly, it will become slimy. In the Middle East, Okra stew (Bamiye) is prepared by frying the okra pods, drying them then cooking them in tomato sauce, garlic and onion mixture. I tried cooking it the sensible way by replacing the frying method by baking the pods in the oven. I can honestly say that slightly frying the pods feared better in my book, nonetheless, here is the recipe.
- 3 bags of frozen Okra
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 10-12 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 large tomatoes, diced
- Bunch cilantro chopped with 5 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Juice of a fresh lemon
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup hot water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Rinse the frozen okra under running water, dry with a paper towel.
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spray a baking pan with coconut oil, spread the okra onto it and bake until the pods are slightly darker in color and tender.
- In a pot over the stove, spray coconut oil and saute the beef until it carmilizes. Add 2 cups of hot water, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks. Boil, cover, and cook until the meat is fork tender.
- In a separate pot over medium high heat, place 2 tablespoons coconut oil, chopped onions, garlic, and saute until the mixture becomes translucent. Add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and water. Boil, cover the pot until the mixture turns into a thick liquid. Add the cooked beef stew.
- Drop the baked okra over the stew/tomato mixture. Mix, however, be careful not to overmix to prevent the okra from becoming slimy.
- Adjust the seasoning to your liking, cover the pot and cook until the okra pods become tender.
- Saute the chopped cilantro with garlic, and add to the okra stew. Cook for 5 more minutes.
- Turn heat off and add lemon juice to the stew.
- Serve hot over a bed of white or brown rice.