Beef Recipes, Main Course, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern

Beef Bamia Recipe (Okra Beef Stew)


Beef Bamia Recipe is a Middle Eastern okra stew dish that is mix with tomato sauce, Arabic spices, and beef. It is healthy and flavorful, which is best to serve with rice and salad.

Beef Bamia Recipe (tomato okra soup) in a bowl.

Bamia is an Arabic word meaning Okra, which is a popular in Kuwait and in the Middle East. The first time I ate this dish was at my grandparent’s house in Kuwait when I was a kid.

My grandmother made this delicious okra beef stew at lunchtime, which is served with Arabic style white rice and salads. Initially, I was ignorant of okra, but my grandmother’s beef bamia dish has caused me to change my mind about this vegetable. It became one of my favorite tomato okra soups since it is tasty, and it is rich in spices, but it is not spicy.

Fortunately, I learned this dish from my mother, which she learned from my grandmother. In this post, I will be showing you how to make an authentic Middle Eastern Beef Bamia Recipe.

Beef Bamia Recipe (tomato okra soup) in a bowl.

Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients of Beef Bamia Recipe

To make Arabic Bamia recipe, there are several spices you need for this dish:

  • Coriander powder
  • Allspice powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Black Lemon

These are popular spices that are used in Middle Eastern and Arabic cuisines. My father sends me these spices from Kuwait, but you can purchase it in many Middle Eastern grocery stores.

Out of all these spices, the Black Lemon or Dried Lime is the most difficult to find in the Philippines. It adds a slight sourness of the bamia stew which makes the dish very tasty.

In addition to the spices, you also need garlic, onion, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, olive oil, and okra. Olive oil gives a nice flavor when cooking the beef and making a stew, and it is also much healthier than other vegetable oil.

Lastly, I am using beef with bones, and the stock from the beef meat that I boiled. I boiled this beef for 2 hours before I start cooking this recipe.

I prefer to use beef bones because it is more tender than other types of beef. Also, when making a tomato okra soup, the beef stock from the bones gives a delicious flavor of the stew.

Notes: You should stir fry the okra and boil the beef earlier before you start cooking. That way, it will be more convenient when preparing the ingredient

What is the best way to cook the okra?

There are two ways you can cook the bamia: Stir frying or boiling along with the rest of the ingredient.

When people try okra, most of them say it is very sticky or slimy. It is possible when making the soup you put directly in the pot while boiling this vegetable.

Stir frying the okra in a pan to remove the stickiness or sliminess

Having your tomato okra soup slimy does not look appetizing. So what I did first, I stir-fried the okra with a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan for several minutes. While stir-frying, this will help remove the sliminess of the okra. I just half cook the okra since I only focus on reducing the sliminess of this vegetable.

Once you are done, you can start transferring into the pot and simmer together with the beef and the other ingredients. These techniques work in both fresh and frozen okra which you can use either one of them for your bamia recipe.

What do you serve with beef okra stew?

This Beef Bamia recipe is best serve and eaten with arabic style vermicelli rice and salad.

Arabic style rice is rice that is stir-fried in oil before adding water to boil. I recommend using any long grain rice or basmati rice. Also, I serve this bamia marag (stew) with my Majboos, a Kuwaiti seasoned spiced rice.

Also, because this is a Middle Eastern okra stew dish, I serve it with Middle Eastern salad such as Arabic Salad, Tabouleh, or Fattoush salad.

Cooking Instructions

Once you are done half cooking the okra and boil the beef ahead, it will be easier to cook the beef bamia.

Firstly, add oil in the pan and then add onion & garlic when the oil is hot. Stir it for few minutes or till they are almost cooked. Add the beef in the pan, and stir again till it has a nice light brown color (do not overcook)

Later, add the tomatoes and stir to mix. Once the tomatoes are cook, add all the powder spices except the black lemon and bay leaves. Give one more stir till the spices are well mixed with the beef.

Next, transfer the beef-spice mixture into the large pot. Add equal to 4 stocks from the boiled beef in an empty cooking pot. If the stock is not enough, use water instead. Switch on the fire, and wait till it started to boil.

Add bay leaves, black lemon, and okra in the pot. Lower the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Lastly, add salt for taste and chopped coriander for garnish before serving. Best to serve this dish with rice and salad.

Other Middle Eastern Recipes

Here are other Arabic and Middle eastern dish you may like to try cooking at home.

Arabic Beef Bamia Recipe (Okra Beef Stew)

4 from 31 votes
Recipe by Saif Al Deen Odeh Course: MainCuisine: Middle Eastern, ArabicDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time





Beef Bamia Recipe is a Middle Eastern tomato okra soup that is mix with tomato sauce, arabic spices, and beef.


  • 3 Cloves Chopped Garlic

  • 2 Medium Chopped Onion

  • 3 Medium Fresh tomatoes

  • 1.5 Tablespoon Tomato paste

  • 3 Tablespoon Olive oil

  • 150 gram Okra.

  • 500 gram Beef Bones, Steak or Ribs

  • 4 cup Beef Stock and Water

  • Spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coriander powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

  • Bay leaves

  • Black Lemon


  • Add oil in the pan. Once it is hot, add the garlic and onion. Stir for few minutes till it is almost cooked.
  • Add the beef in the pan, and stir again till it has a light brown color. Do not overcooked the beef.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir to mix.
  • Later, add the coriander, allspice, black pepper, except bay leaves and black lemon. Stir to mix with the beef.
  • Once the spices are mixed well with the beef, transfer all into an empty large pot.
  • Add the stock from the boiled beef or combined beef stock & water (if the stock is not enough) in the pot. Turn on the heat.
  • Once it started to simmer, add the bay leaves, black lemon, and the half cooked okra.
  • Lower the heat and continue simmering for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add salt for taste and chopped coriander (optional) for garnished.
  • Serve it with rice and salad. Enjoy!


  • Stir fry the okra in a separate pan to help remove the sliminess before putting in the pot. You can just half cook the okra since you will still need to simmer it.
  • You can use any type of beef such Beef bones, Steak, Ribs or even Boneless Beef

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

Serving Size4 servings


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 36.8g 57%
    • Cholesterol 84mg 29%
    • Sodium 859mg 36%
    • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
    • Potassium 614mg 18%
    • Total Carbohydrate 13.7g 5%
      • Dietary Fiber 3.9g 16%
      • Sugars 6.1g
    • Protein 29.7g 60%
    • Vitamin C 3%
    • Calcium 7%
    • Iron 16%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


    1. I love okra, and I was so pleased to come across recipe that featured it in such a way. This is delicious and full of flavour!

    2. I was thinking of buying okra to try it, but wasn’t sure what to do with it so thanks for the inspiration!

    3. What a lovely collection of flavors!

    4. Thank you for all the tips and tricks included. Really gives me the confidence to try this okra dish. It looks amazing!

    5. Whoah! Flavor galore and such a simple recipe. This is not going to last long in our house 😉

    6. I love bamia. We ate that in Kuwait and it taste delicious. Can I use ground beef instead since boiling the beef takes time? Thanks

    7. Interesting recipe with okra, looks like a great dish to go with rice!

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