Bamia With Lamb

A hearty okra stew. This dish is traditionally eaten with rice, pita or flatbread. 

Serves 4

1½ onions
2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
250g diced lamb*
500g okra**
2-3 tsp. baharat
250g pasata***
150ml water
1 lemon, squeezed


  • Finely chop the onions garlic, as small as you can, then lightly fry in a saucepan with the olive oil until the onions have just begun to soften

  • Add the lamb and brown the meat with the onion and garlic mixture

  • Add the okra and the baharat, frying until the vegetables have turned from a bright to dull green

  • Pour the pasata and the water into the pan. Stir everything together and season with salt. The liquid should just cover the okra and meat

  • Simmer for an hour to an hour and a half until the meat is soft

  • Stir in the lemon juice, leave for another 5 minutes and serve

Bamia with Rice

Bamia with Rice

* The dish can also be made vegetarian by omitting the meat, or can be made with other cuts of meat, for example beef or chicken thighs

** Mini or ‘Baby’ okra (about 1cm long) work best for this recipe. These can be bought frozen in packets of 500g in most Middle Eastern supermarkets.  Larger varieties of okra can be found fresh in many larger mainstream supermarkets, but these will need to be washed and cut in half

*** Pasata wasn't available in Sudan and so a homemade paste was used.  Every year at the time of their harvest women would buy crates of tomatoes.  These would be crushed by hand in an exceptionally large bowl and sieved through a muslin sheet to remove the skins and seeds.  The remaining paste would then be left in the sun to dry out.  The resulting concentrated mixture was placed in jars coated with olive oil and used throughout the year, diluted with water to make a tomato sauce