Bamiya with Vermicelli Rice
Years ago when I moved to Middle East, I was totally ignorant of the Middle East Cuisine. Having lived in Dubai which is a cosmopolitan hub of so many nationalities, Egyptian food was the first I had tried out. Most of the dishes there, across the whole Middle Eastern region are similar in taste and texture. The only difference which according to me is the addition of meat or chicken.
One such dish called as Bamiya or Okra curry made just with Okra is specifically found in Egyptian cuisine. In the dusty streets of Cairo or Alexandria, stopping by a small local eatery and ordering Bamiya with vermicelli rice is not only cheap but delicious. Most of my visits to Egypt were focussed around their local food. Bamiya which stood out loud and was a MUST have on every visit.
I don't really miss Egyptian food even though I don't live in Egypt. That's because of the easy availability of most of the ingredients locally. Today while looking up in the freezer, I found a packet of frozen baby okra and Bamiya was all that I could think of. I am glad to share the recipe with you and I am sure you will definitely like it, even though this is totally non spicy and also vegetarian
One and a half cups of baby okra (you may use the normal ones, cut into big pieces)
one medium onion chopped
two medium tomatoes, pureed
4 grated garlic cloves
two cubes of vegetable stock (dissolved on 300ml hot water)
one tbs olive oil for cooking
2table spoons tomato paste (or juice of one lemon)
Middle eastern spice mix (optional)
1 - Add olive oil in a heavy bottom skillet and as it warms up, add the chopped onions and sautè until the onions turn light brown
2 - Now add the okra and fry on high for about couple of minutes
3 - Next goes in the grated garlic, fry for about couple of minutes
4 - Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, mix, cover and simmer for 3-4minutes
5 - Add the vegetable stock, check seasoning if needed, add the Middle Eastern spice, cover and bring to a boil, simmer until the okra is completely cooked.
6 - Turn off the heat, add the lime juice at this stage if you aren't using tomato paste, mix, cover and let it sit for 10mins before serving
Serve with hot steaming rice or vermicelli rice