Monday, August 24, 2009

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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Elra said...

Hmm, that look really delicious. I like okra, but my son and my husband still having a hard time to appreciate it.

FoodTravelDiva said...

Lovely stew! I just love okras.

Mediterranean kiwi said...

i love love love okra - i always buy it fresh and prepare it myself so it isnt slimy, and i add it to a partly-cooked roast -delicious!

Baron's Life said...

Bamia is one of my favorites with Lamb and accompanied by Gand-ma and ma used to make it often whenever they could find Okra in the market, cause in them days, there wasn't much ethnic foods available in the local market here, so it was always a feast when they found something frm the old country.
ps: I just discovered you were a gal...for some reason I thought you were a guy...not that it matters...anyways...I like girls better...I will have my wife try this recipe for us...Thank you for posting it.
ps: do you have the recipe for Sujuk...Cheers Nihal and kind regards
Berge Baronian

Soma said...

I make okra very often, but my hubby will have it only fried, not deep fried but the kind when it is not wet.:-) This looks like a quick comforting dish.

lisaiscooking said...

I have a big bag of okra from my CSA, and I had planned to cook it tonight with tomatoes! Perfect timing!

My Turkish Kitchen said...

Eline saglik Nihal, cok leziz gorunuyor. Ramazanini da tebrik edeyim bu arada.

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Elra, I know what you mean..some people love it, some hate it :)

FoodTravelDiva, another okra fan! Great!

Maria, I've never bought it frozen or canned, but I imagine they would turn out slimy, so fresh is always the best. Never tried it on roast, sounds great though.

Berge, even now, Middle Eastern /Mediterranean ingredients are not easily found in some parts of the U.S. and probably Canada. So, I can imagine okra being a feast when your grandparents found it. Don't worry about the mix up, it happens. If your wife cooks the okra, let me know what you two think about it. I do have a couple simple sucuk recipes waiting. I'll try posting them some time in the near future.

Soma, I think that's why my hubby also doesn't like okra. He doesn't mind it when it's crunchier.

Lisa, great! I think you'll like it :)

Iffet, tesekkur ederim, senin de Ramazanin kutlu olsun.

Karine said...

This looks to be a great way to enjoy okra. Thanks for sharing your recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

The okra stew sounds wonderful! I love okra but for some reason never made it at home, really have to do that sometime!

Baron's Life said...

Firstly, I wanted to wish you and your family a Ramadan Kareem.
I will let you know how they turn out. (For sure she's gonna try cooking them for me)...We now have more ethnic foods in Vancouver because of the small shops run by new immigrants so ingredients, specialty foods..(Basturma) are easier to find...
YOu have a great blog.
Again all the best to you and your family in this Holy Season of Ramadan

Sook said...

So I've never tried Okra before and everyone tells me how great it is. I'll have to try this recipe! It looks fab!

Anonymous said...

This is Lovely Nihal! I love okra/bamia.The only part I dont like is when some of them get sharp and prickly-I never understood how to make sure not to pick those..?Otherwise,in Cyprus I was told they cook it with something I think it was vinegar,not sure,for those who dont like the the stickiness of the Okra.I just came back from Paris and while visiting the Turkish shops I saw the dried small Okras aswell as the Eggplants hanging on a string ,but in closed vacum packets.First time I saw it packaged like that..
Thank you once again for the recipe of one of my favorite dishes! :D Sagol,Mia

Velva said...

Just wanted to let you know that purple potatoes are natural. There are literally hundred of varieties of potatoes. The Peruvians alone grow over 200 varieties since potatoes are a main staple. I think for westerners we just get so used to seeing commercial bred potatoes rather than heirloom, that we forget.

Don't hesitate! Pick up your purple potatoes next time at the market. Enjoy!

Selba said...

I have tried this dish before and yes, it's so delicious!

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Karine, thank you.

5 Star Foodie, I hope you give it a try sometime.

Berge, thanks for your wishes. It's great that now you can find all kinds of specialty foods in Vancouver. Nowadays, it's much easier to find specialty foods in big cities.

Sook, some people love it, some people hate it. You gotta make it to see which category you fall in! :)

Mia, I think you can avoid the sharpness and the prickleness by selecting fresh okra. I always touch okra one by one when I select them at the market. The ones that are soft when you touch them are the right ones. If they are hard, then when you cook them, they'll get sharp. I actually picked that up from my grandmother when she used to pick okra from her garden. I always remembered it and applied it without even thinking about it. :) So you saw the dried okra, eggplants and all in Turkish shops in Paris! I've never seen them vacuumed into a package either. I didn't even realize that Paris got Turkish shops :) I saw any when I was there this summer, but also I wasn't looking for them either!

Velva, I appreciate your answer to my question regarding purple potatoes. It's pleasing to hear that they are natural. Now, I can easily buy them next time.

Selba, did you try it in Turkey or did you make it? Thanks for sharing.

Selba said...

I had this okra stew in tomato sauce when I was in Turkey. Seriously, I miss Turkey food :)

Anonymous said...

Nihalcim,please forgive me ,I completely forgot to wish you Ramadan Mubarak..!
Im sure you didnt need to search for Turkish shops in Paris..!But since I used to live there..then I have already dicovered these areas,which were a treat for me.. ;) Mia

Mediterranean Turkish Cook said...

Mia, no worries. Thanks for your wishes :)