Monday, February 27, 2006
Bamia is an arabic dish. This dish has very subtle & mild flavours, yet it is very delicious to eat with breads or naans or as a side dish with plain rice. My dad spent the major part of his life in Muscat & he loved arabic food. So my mother would cook up arabic dishes on his visit to India, just to impress him. One amongst them was Bamia, which became our favourite too.
You need :
1 kg boneless stewing lamb or beef
2 tbsps ghee/ butter/ oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 cup peeled & chopped tomatoes
2 tbsps tomato paste
1/2 cup stock or water
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
500 gms fresh okra, washed, drained well & towel dried
1 tbsp ghee/ oil
Trim the meat & cut into 3 cm cubes. Marinate for 15 minutes with some salt & pepper. Heat ghee/ butter/ oil in a pan & brown the meat well, adding a single layer of meat at a time. Remove from heat & transfer to a casserole. Lower the heat. In the same pan, add the onions & fry gently until transparent. Add the cumin powder, tomatoes, tomato paste & stock. Stir well to lift the browned sediments on the bottom of the pan. Pour over the meat in the casserole. Add salt, pepper & sugar. Mix well. Cover the casserole with an aluminium foil & bake in an 250 deg preheated oven for 1 & 1/2 hours.
Now the dish actually demands whole okras as the topping. But I find that a little spooky. I don't want any surprises in the okra. So I usually prefer to cut my vegetables before cooking them. I cut the okras into 1 inch chunks. Heat oil/ ghee in a pan. Add okra & fry over medium heat, tossing gently till 3/4th done. Arrange okras on top of the meat in the casserole. Cover & cook for further 40 minutes or until meat is tender & the okra has cooked well.