Okra Stew in Tomato Sauce (Domatesli Bamya)

This stew is very popular in Turkey in the summer months. Depending on your preference, you may cook it with beef or lamb. I did not add any meat, since most of the time I prefer to have my vegetable dishes without meat. Turkish cuisine also includes grilled or fried okra which also can make a delicious meal.

Although he is not a picky eater, my husband loathes okra, so okra is not cooked frequently in our home. For the sake of my blog, I decided to cook okra before the season was over. I do have a tendency to lag in posting my recipes, but this time I managed to get it out before the summer is gone. I purchased these this weekend from the farmer’s market and they turned out to be very fresh. The stew was soft, light and tasty with a rich tomato sauce. As for the lifelong okra hater, he manifested his dislike by not even tasting the okra since his favorite green bean stew was also on the menu.

1½ lbs okra
3 medium ripe tomatoes (peeled and diced)
1 small green pepper (sliced)
¼ yellow onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
3 tbsp tomato sauce
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
2 ½ tsp salt
2 cups water

Wash and drain the okra. Peel the stem of the okra in the shape of a cone rather than cutting it flat in order to hinder any gooey substance escaping the okra. Heat olive oil in a deep pot. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are transparent. Add the green peppers and the tomatoes and sauté for a few more minutes. Dissolve the tomato sauce in the 2 cups water. Pour into the pot. Add the lemon juice, salt, black pepper and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add the okra and stir well, so that the okra absorbs all the flavors. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes and then turn to low and simmer for about 30-40 minutes. Serve hot with rice pilaf.

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