Middle Eastern Food

Okra Stew (Bamiya -بامية )

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Okra Stew, I remember the first time that I tasted you.  Between my fingers and on my lips. lol Okay Okra or what we call in Arabic “Bamiya” (بامية) has a little bit of sentimental value to me.  I’ve never heard of Okra or Bamiya growing up in Ohio (The heartland of America).  It was not until I traveled to Yemen for the first time after high school when I was introduced to this vegetable.  I still remember the day I first laid eyes on Okra.  My family was visiting relates in the village and during dinner, like most Yemeni families, serve multiple dishes of roasted meats with rice & vegetable stew.  This stew in particular had only tomatoes, onions and Bamiya.  I looked at it and thought to myself “What the hell is that”?

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I immediately thought of al Jambia / Yemeni Dagger when looking at their shape (Click “HERE” to read more on Al Jambia) .  Even when I grabbed some of the stew with some pita bread, it had this mucus like consistency.  However my mind changed immediately after tasting it.  It bursted with flavor in my mouth.  The sauce and spices accompanied the bamiya well.  From that point forward, I’ve been hooked to Bamiya.    Since returning to the states, I’ve been able to find Okra more readily available.  Maybe it’s because I moved to NYC and there are more fruit markets than Ohio.  In this Bamiya stew, my family added mushrooms and a little bit of sriracha for that extra kick.  I love this stew but the only problem is that it’s never as good as the first time.

 

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