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

Bamia is a Middle Eastern, Turkish, Iranian, Assyrian, Armenian, Afghan, Albanian, Sudanese, Somali and Anatolian 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]

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.