Lauren’s Kitchen: Egyptian Okra with Tomatoes—Bamya Belzait

August 13, 2015


It is okra season in Texas and there is no finer way to honor this humble veg than in this classic Egyptian dish. Currently there is local organic okra available at Wheatsville, Whole Foods and in every local CSA. If you are lucky you may even find the purple variety!

While there are countless reasons to love my daughter Kate’s boyfriend, Joe, today I am especially grateful because he shared this family recipe and now I don’t know how I’ve lived 55 years without it. Actually, truth be told, I spent most of my life avoiding okra and now I know it’s just because it was never prepared like this!

May I just suggest you buy enough for leftovers?

Here is your ingredient list & instructions:

In a large heavy skillet sauté 2 finely minced shallot & 1 clove of finely minced garlic in ½ cup olive oil on medium heat, careful not to burn.

Add 1T ground coriander, 1t ground cumin along with the trimmed okra (see photo) in batches. (You’ll need approx. 2lbs or 1 kilo) Brown okra on all sides and remove to a plate as you continue the process.


Okra must be trimmed in this manner.

In the same skillet, with all okra set aside, add 6 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes, 2-4T tomato paste and cook to make a thick sauce.

Return okra to the skillet with cooked tomato sauce, toss in 1/2 bunch of chopped fresh cilantro, 1 juiced lemon (¼ cup) and an amount of the 1t of sea salt according to taste.

This mixture now must be cooked into a stew in one of three methods. You may use the skillet with a lid and simmer on low, or, pour all ingredients into an over proof dish and place in a preheated oven (375° for 30-45 mins) or cook in a pressure cooker for 15 mins on full pressure.

The results are delightful and can be served over rice if you choose.


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