Khoresht e Bamieh | Iranian Okra Stew | خورشت بامیه

Khoresht e Bamieh is a South Iranian okra stew with a spiced tomato sauce served on rice. 

History of Khoresht e Bamieh

‘Bamieh’  or ‘بامیه’ is the Farsi word for Okra. Similarly, it is known as ‘bamia’ or ‘bamya’ across the Middle East.

Nowadays, Okra is grown in warm countries around the globe but okra most likely originated in West Africa. It then spread through Iraq to Iran.  Which explains which this okra stew is popular in the southern Khuzestan region of Iran bordering Iraq.

Khuzestan province and other southern regions of Iran tend to use more spices than northern Iran . This is probably an influence from Iran’s South Eastern neighbours Pakistan and India. As a result, Khoresht e Bamieh is a multicultural product of a vast geography from Africa to India.

How to cook Khoresht e Bamieh

As far as Iranian dishes go, this traditional meal is quick and easy. Serve alongside rice. Follow my Tahdig | Persian crispy rice | ته دیگ recipe for the true taste of Iran.

Cooking tips

Okra is famous for its gooey texture. I actually like this texture but if you don’t want your okra to be slimy:

  • soak the okra in vinegar before cooking
  • cook the okra whole – don’t cut it

It is essential to fully cook the okra to avoid tough skins. For this recipe, simply ensure the okra is sautéed on all sides before adding to the main pan. You can also look for small okra which is softer and quicker to cook.

Ingredients swaps

Okra is healthy and full of fibre and vitamins. But this veganised stew has little protein because I replaced meat with mushrooms. So if you want a balanced vegan meal add beans or ‘vegan meat’ to the stew towards the end of cooking. If you to preserve the original taste of the stew, you can add extra protein alongside the rice, such as nuts or seeds.

Khoresht e Bamieh is a simple stew so the few ingredients are all pretty essential. Chilli is optional and depends on your taste. You can use chilli powder or a fresh chilli if you really want some heat!

khoresht e bamieh on plate

Original Article Vegan Middle East

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