Bamia stew
Alternative namesBamieh, Bamje, Bamya, Bame
Region or stateTanzania, Afghanistan, Kenya, Armenia, Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Cyprus, , Iran, Iraq, Romania, Syria, Lebanon, , Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, Jordan, Arabian Peninsula, Greece, Kurdistan
Main ingredientslamb meat, okra, bay leaves, salt, pepper

Bamia is a central Asian dish from Afghanistan. It is an Albanian, Armenian, Assyrian, Azerbaijani, Iranian, Kurdish, Somali, Sudanese and Turkish stew prepared using lamb, okra and tomatoes as primary ingredients.[1][2][3] Additional ingredients used include tomato sauce, onion, garlic, cilantro (coriander), vegetable oil, cardamom, salt and pepper.[1] The word "bamia" itself simply means "okra" and it is etymologically an Arabic word.[4]

Vegetarian bamia is very popular during fasting seasons such as Easter in Greece and Cyprus.[citation needed]

Regional variations

In Turkey, bamia (natively bamya) is an Anatolian stew that has a sweet and sour flavor.[5] It is prepared using okra, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.[5] Turkish bamia is sometimes served as a palate cleanser between food courses at ceremonial feasts.[5]

Bamia (natively 'bamija' or 'bamnja') is also prepared in Bosnia and Herzegovina, generally as a part of the Eid dinner. Bosnian bamia is prepared as a veal stew. It is cooked for a long time until the meat is completely soft.

In Egypt, sinew (tendons) of lamb are typically used, which can endure long cooking times.[6] Ta'aleya, an Egyptian garlic sauce, is used as an ingredient to add flavor to bamia.[a][6]

In Iran and Afghanistan, bāmieh is served as a khoresh along with rice and is a popular dish in the southern provinces.[citation needed]

Iraqi Jews, put semolina kubba in their bamia stew.


In Arabic Arabic: بامية, bamyah or bamia bi-lahm (Arabic: البامية باللحم أو شوربة البامية okra with meat; Greek: μπάμια; Turkish: bamya.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "...dressed with a fragrant taa'leya, an Egyptian mixture of spices fried with garlic."[7]


  1. ^ a b Webb, L.S.; Roten, L.G. (2009). The Multicultural Cookbook for Students. EBL-Schweitzer. ABC-CLIO. pp. 286–287. ISBN 978-0-313-37559-0.
  2. ^ Kopka, D. (2011). Passport Series: Middle East. Passport Series. Lorenz Educational Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-7877-8716-5.
  3. ^ Claudia Roden, A New Book of Middle Eastern Food, p. 248
  4. ^ "Bamya". Nişanyan Sözlük. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  5. ^ a b c Basan, G.; Basan, J. (2007). Middle Eastern Kitchen. Hippocrene Books. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-7818-1190-3.
  6. ^ a b Smith, A. (2013). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. OUP USA. p. 678. ISBN 978-0-19-973496-2. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  7. ^ "New Statesman". Volume 113. Statesman and Nation Publishing Company. 1987. p. 36.
  8. ^ Turkey. Michelin Travel Publications. 2000. p. 94.