25 September 2014

Arab Meal 101: Bamya | Okra + Beef Stew

This is Bamya,
 an okra + beef stew served over rice. It's a traditional Arab dish that I grew up eating, and still love today. And just like many other family recipes, I had yet to made it on my own, with my mom by my side. I set it as one of my MOTW| 3 goals, and can now check one more accomplishment off the list. This yummy dish was easier than I expected + I'm so glad I finally did! Below is the recipe I've been enjoying since I was a kid, I know you're going to love it as much as I do!

1 lb. Beef Stew Meat
1 Bag Frozen Cut Okra
1 Can Tomato Sauce
Garlic, minced (+/- 2 cloves)
All Spice
Veggie Oil
Pita Bread

How To:

You may have noticed I did not include exact measurements of some ingredients. My mom knows the spices are right through taste rather than quantity; but I'll give you some pointers along the way.

1 - Put some oil in the bottom of the pan, once hot begin to sear the meat.
- Once seared, add water (enough to completely cover the meat) + bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender. 
- Remove the meat, but leave the water in the pot.
- tip: As the meat is simmering get your okra + garlic ready.

2 - In a separate pan, place some oil in the bottom and turn up the heat.
- Place the okra in the hot oil and fry until it's slightly crispy.
- remove + place the okra on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Using the same oil brown some garlic.

3 - Add okra, garlic, tomato sauce, all spice (at least 2 T.), salt, + pepper to the meat.

4 - Set the heat to simmer, and let it all cook together for about 20 minutes (although mother says the longer you let it simmer the better it tastes because all the spices get a chance to blend together). 

5 - While the Bamya is doing it's thang simmering away, begin cooking the rice. 
- Once the rice is done, fluff it with a fork.

6 - Serve the Bamya over the rice + garnish with lemon juice. 
Go heavy on the juice, at least I do. I also eat my Bamya with a slice of warm Pita bread on the side.

I hope you enjoy this family dish as much as I do!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I believe it is important to learn your family cooking traditions, and the sooner the better! You never know, one day the people who know the recipes may not be around to teach you + these traditions will be gone with them. 
So seize the day!

Until next time friends...Cheers!!!
<3 Noonie

PS: If you enjoyed this recipe check out some of my other favorite Arab dishes: