There are two ways in which I enjoy Okra. Crispy and deep fried alongside similarly cooked chicken, and in a stew with beef and tomatoes. Any other way has proven terribly slimy and therefore hardly palatable. Today’s recipe is for the stew, known sometimes as Bamia (Okra). The secret to combating slime are tomatoes! Who knew? I didn’t, but I do now and so do you…
1 bag of frozen Okra or 16 oz of fresh
4 tomatoes (chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
1 lb of steak (chopped)
2-3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
¾ of a can of tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Slices of lemon (For serving alongside finished dish)
Serves 4-5 people
1. Fry steak in a pot for which you will eventually add all your ingredients. Drain grease. (If you do this step in advance, you can let the meat cool and cut it into smaller pieces, since it is sometimes easier to cut once it is already cooked.)
2. Add about a cup or two of water-you don’t want to make soup, and remember you can always add more water to suit your taste or preferred consistency.
3. Add tomato paste and stir. Leave to simmer.
4. Fry onions until brown. Add to the pot of meat.
5. Fry Okra until nice and brown. Add to the pot.
6. Fry tomatoes until soft and add to the pot.
(If you are an experienced cook, you can fry your ingredients simultaneously and dump everything in together, but if you are novice like me, take your time and fry each ingredient one at a time.)
7. Periodically stir all ingredients in the pot and simmer on medium for one hour.
8. When you have about 20 minutes of simmering left, fry garlic and mix it still sizzling into the stew.
9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
10. Serve with flat bread for scooping, and/or rice.
11. Add a salad and accompaniments. Don’t forget the lemon wedge-mouth watering squeezed over the steaming stew. Yum!