Recipe Corner: Summer Okra with Lamb and Tomatoes (Bamiya)


By Christine Vartanian Datian

1 1/2 pounds small baby okra, washed and trimmed

1 pound lamb shoulder meat, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 and 1/2 inch cubes

2 medium tomatoes, chopped or 1-16 oz. canned crushed tomatoes

2 medium yellow or white onions, finely chopped

2-3 large cloves garlic, minced

6 to 8 cups water (some low sodium beef broth may be substituted for part of the water)

1 cup low sodium tomato sauce

1 cup canned garbanzo beans, washed and drained

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice and cumin

Sea or Kosher salt, black pepper, dried mint, red pepper flakes, paprika, or Aleppo pepper to taste

Olive oil or unsalted butter

Finely chopped parsley

Juice of one or two large lemons

 

Preparation:

In a large pot or Dutch oven, sauté the lamb in some olive oil or butter for a few minutes until browned on all sides. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent. Add the water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, garbanzo beans, vinegar, sugar, allspice and cumin, and stir. Bring to full boil, add the okra and the additional spices, and stir a few times.

 

Cover and simmer for one hour or longer until the lamb and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add more water at this point, if needed.

 

Add the parsley and lemon juice, and simmer for 5-10 minutes longer. Remove from heat and serve over Armenian rice or bulgur pilaf with extra lemon and red pepper flakes or Aleppo pepper on the side.

 

*This recipe may be made without the lamb, of course, and served as a vegetarian side dish or main course. Loin lamb chops may be submitted for the lamb shoulder.

 

Serves 4-6.

 

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee Newspaper, Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, and athttp://www.thearmeniankitchen.com/

 

Also see: http://www.myrecipes.com/search/site/Datian