A wonderful way to showcase okra is to cook up this delicious Persian Okra Stew (Khoreshteh Bamieh).
The colder seasons seem to spark this conversation of “comfort foods.” Of course, comfort foods are different for everyone. For our family, it usually evokes images of Persian stews. They are warm, hearty, full of vegetables and meats of your choice, and always served with fluffy, aromatic basmati rice. Can you smell the saffron????
Some friends were coming over for dinner to sample Persian food and I was at my local Middle-Eastern market checking out the fresh vegetables when I found okra was on sale. Yes, okra in October. We’re in Southern California, okay?
I grabbed a bagful and brought them home. I have made Persian Okra Stew (Khoreshteh Bamieh) in years. There are so many wonderful stews you can make, so sometimes making a decision which one to make is the challenge. I’ve already posted another great stew recipe, Persian Eggplant Stew (khoreshteh qiemeh bademjoon). The one with okra is very similar.
I asked my mother-in-law for any tips or family secret ingredients she could tell me before I made the stew.
She laughed and said, “You know, I’ve eaten the stew many times, I love this stew, but I’ve never made it!”
She was surprised at her own revelation!
So, I jumped in head first, as I always do, and came up with this wonderful recipe. My husband was happy with it, and my friends loved it, too.
I kept the okra whole, instead of cut up, because the inside of the okra tends to get slimy when cooked, and I didn’t want it to slime my stew. That may not sound appetizing, but this really is a delicious and healthy meal. The okra doesn’t take long to cook, so avoid the temptation to let it cook for a long time with the rest of the stew.
I have a dozen other stew recipes that I promise I will post quickly, so keep an eye out for them!
- 1 1/2 lb beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried turmeric
- 1 tsp all-purpose flour
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth
- 3 TBS tomato paste
- 3 dried limes, halved*
- 14 oz canned diced tomatoes, with juice
- 1 1/2 lb okra
- In a large bowl mix together stew meat, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, 1/4 tsp turmeric and flour.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 1 TBS olive oil.
- When oil is hot add chopped onion.
- Cook until onions start to soften, approximately 7 minutes then season with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper and 1/4 tsp turmeric.
- Cook for 2 minutes, then add stew meat and brown all sides, approximately 7 minutes.
- Stir in beef broth.
- Using a wooden spoon, scrape up browned bits of meat from the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in tomato paste and canned tomatoes. Add dried limes.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Stew can be refrigerated 3-4 days before serving at this point. Flavor is enhanced the longer it sits.
- Thirty minutes prior to serving, clean and stem okra. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Heat large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 TBS olive oil.
- Fry okra in batches until lightly browned.
- Add okra to the rest of stew, gently mixing it in.
- Cook 15-20 minutes. If you overcook okra, they turn mushy.
- Serve over white basmati rice.
You can also substitute the beef stew meat with 2 1/2 lbs of lamb shanks (with bone) or 3-4 lb fryer chicken (cut up). For vegetarian stew, substitute beef broth with any vegetable broth and add 1/2 cup yellow split peas in step 10.
* If you can not find dried limes, substitute with 1/4 cup lemon juice
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Serving Size:1-2 cups
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 337 Total Fat: 12.5g Saturated Fat: 3.5g Cholesterol: 101mg Sodium: 479mg Carbohydrates: 16.2g Fiber: 5.2g Sugar: 5.4g Protein: 39g