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Skyler's Iraqi Bamia (Okra)

Skyler’s Iraqi Bamia (Okra)

  • Author: Skyler Inman
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4 1x



5 cups okra

1 medium onion, diced

3 tbsp olive oil (omit for an oil-free version)

1 medium tomato, diced

6-8oz tomato paste 

3-5 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups boiling water 

1/2-1 teaspoon cumin (according to taste) 

1 teaspoon salt 

1/2 teaspoon pepper 

1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Wash and pick through the okra. 

  2. Chop off the stems very sparingly.

  3. Dice the onions, garlic, and tomato, placing each in a separate bowl. 

  4. Heat olive oil in a large, deep pan or a medium pot. Add the onion and sautée until translucent.

  5. Add the okra and half of the garlic. Sautée on medium-high for a few minutes, until the okra takes on a much brighter, more vibrant green color.

  6. Make a space in the middle of the pan. Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin, and sugar. Stir to heat until the tomato spice mix becomes little darker in color. 

  7. Add the chopped tomato and boiling water and stir to combine everything.

  8. Bring to a simmer, cover and allow to cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes. It’s done when the okra is very soft and not fibrous at all – test a large piece if you’re unsure. 

  9. Serve alone as a side dish, or over rice as a main course.

Keywords: vegan, plant-based, okra, Iraqi food

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