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bamya- Turkish okra stew
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5 from 10 votes

Bamya - Turkish Okra Stew

Bamya (or Bamia) is a classic Turkish Okra Stew dish made with okra, tomatoes, onion, garlic and lemon juice. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Turkish
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 547kcal
Author: Ayla Clulee


  • 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
  • 6-8 chicken legs
  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 400 g tomatoes (grated)
  • 1 red chilli (chopped)
  • 600 g okra
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 50 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 250 ml chicken stock, vegetable stock or water


  • Put a Dutch oven or a heavy-based pan on medium heat.
  • Sear the chicken pieces until slightly browned and then set them aside on a plate.
  • Add the onions to the pan and sauté them for a few minutes, until soft and translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic, sauté for 30 seconds and then add the tomato paste.
  • Mix well before adding the grated tomatoes and chillies. Gently deglaze the pan with the juices from the tomatoes.
  • Add the chicken pieces to the pan along with the okra, lemon juice, salt and the stock.
  • Give them a good stir and bring the pan to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and gently simmer the stew on low heat for 40 to 45 minutes, until the okra and the chicken pieces are tender.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for five minutes before serving.


  • Use a heavy–bottomed pan or a Dutch Oven as they distribute the heat more evenly.
  • Okra has a very short season and is only available during the summer. However, you can freeze this healthy vegetable in an airtight container for up to 5 months.
  • The secret to this Bamya recipe is the long, slow simmering that brings the flavours gently together.
  • Traditionally, the Bamia dish consists of lamb, beef or goat, lots of tomatoes, and okra. I prefer chicken legs or wings same as my mom used to do for us as a child. You can leave the meat out for the vegetarian/vegan version.
  • Cooking the okra with tomatoes and lemon juice helps avoid slimness.
  • The leftover Bamia Stew will keep for up to five days when refrigerated.    


Calories: 547kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 1075mg | Potassium: 1272mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2449IU | Vitamin C: 75mg | Calcium: 169mg | Iron: 3mg