Turkish bamya are baby okras cooked in a sweet and sour lemony tomato-based stew. It’s a staple of Turkish cuisine, and for good reasons, the okras are super tender and flavorful.
- 640g canned okras (22.5 oz), drained weight or use frozen cut okra
- 2 small yellow onions
- ½ lemon
- 2 tomatoes
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 heaped tsp Turkish mild red pepper paste (tatlı biber salçası), or use tomato paste
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 235ml water (1 cup)
- Prepare the ingredients. Drain the cans over your sink using a colander or a sturdy sieve. Turkish canned okras always come with sliced halved tomatoes in them. I usually discard them but my mother-in-law adds them to the stew alongside the okras. You do you. Rinse the okras under cold running water for 30 seconds. The okras are now ready to be used for the recipe but set them aside for now. Peel the onions. Thinly chop them and set them aside. Juice half a lemon and set the juice aside. Slice the tomatoes in halves and grate the cut sides on the largest holes of a box grater into a deep plate. Discard the skins.
- Make the stew. Heat the olive oil in a deep non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 10 min, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the paste and spread it all over the chopped onion using the back of the wooden spoon. Cook for 2 min. Stir in the grated tomatoes and the salt. Cook for 3 min, mixing from time to time. Stir in the okras, lemon juice and water. Increase the heat to quickly bring the stew to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer gently for 25 min. Turkish bamya is not a thick stew, the base is pretty liquid so if you think it’s watery that everything is normal! Remove the pan from the heat and let the stew rest for at least 10 min before serving.
You can keep Turkish bamya in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. The taste will improve over time.
Reheat the okra and tomato stew, covered with a lid, gently over medium-low heat stirring from time to time. It should take about 5 min to get just warm. Or use the microwave!
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 250
Keywords: okra and tomato stew, turkish vegetable side dishes, okra vegan recipes