Saturday, June 20, 2009
Okra Stew (Bemiyeh bil lahmeh) - بامية باللحمة
Okra stew is one of my favorite stews. I love its taste when it combines with the tomato sauce, cilantro and pomegranate molasses. Very tangy and full of texture. I follow my mom's recipe, I love the way she makes it. It's a very popular recipe in Lebanon.
Here in the United States I don't always find fresh small okras, so I buy it from the frozen section at a Middle Eastern store or from the local grocery store but they come sliced since they let them grow too big. Small okra is always preferable though.
This stew is best served with rice and vermicelli (you can find how to prepare it if you go back to my recipe of beans stew or fasolia w rizz that I posted before).
A frozen bag of small okra (about 500g or 15 ounce)
Canola oil (or any vegetable oil) just enough to fry the okra
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 big can of tomato sauce
2 cups of diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1 onion chopped
1 fresh bunch of cilantro chopped
1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (optional)
Juice of a lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of allspice
500grs or a bit more than half a pound of lean stew meat
Thaw the frozen okra, drain and fry in hot oil until golden then transfer to a plate covered with paper towel to drain the excess oil, set that aside.
In the cooking pot add chopped onions, butter, olive oil, salt & pepper. Then add the meat, garlic and allspice. Let everything cook until the meat browns then add the diced tomatoes, once they're cooked add the tomato sauce and some water, cover for few minutes until everything incorporates and cook, then add the okra (don't stir!), let it sink in the sauce and cook slowly. Add the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice and fresh cilantro. Let everything simmer until ready.
Serve with rice.