Bamya (Okra Stew)

Bamya (Turkish Okra Stew). Photography by  Elisa Watson , Styling by Kate Bradley &  Elisa Watson . Kitchen Cloth in Washed Waffle Grey from  Fog Linen . Bowl, fork and glass found in an op shop. // Kenkō Kitchen

Bamya (Turkish Okra Stew). Photography by Elisa Watson, Styling by Kate Bradley & Elisa Watson. Kitchen Cloth in Washed Waffle Grey from Fog Linen. Bowl, fork and glass found in an op shop. // Kenkō Kitchen

We are currently in the midst of winter in Australia and to celebrate I thought I would share one of my favourite comforting recipes. This recipe hails from Turkey and is another recipe I have inherited from my boyfriends wonderful family. It is a dish in which you can serve hot or cold so you can make a big batch and have it for days on end (Turkish style), or you can pop any leftovers in the freezer for an easy meal. You can have it in a bowl on it's own or as a side with other Turkish dishes (like mücver - Turkish zucchini and dill fritters). It truly is delicious and is the perfect balance of comfort and nourishing. 

Bamya or Okra is a vegetable which is most often found in middle eastern stews and Indian, Sri Lankan curries. Okra is known for being quite a low calorie vegetable and it is a rich source if dietary fibre as well as containing many minerals and vitamins (such as vitamin A, C, K and B-6). It's absolutely delicious when cooked right and can be found to purchase fresh in Asian groceries and can be found frozen in Indian supermarkets. You could use either fresh or frozen for this dish, it really depends on what you can get your hands on!

Like many Turkish recipes this one is incredibly simple and easy to make. When both Yaprak and Suna (my boyfriends aunty and grandma) made this dish for me my heart just sang. It is such a delicious dish which you can just easily keep going back for more. It's a very common dish in Turkey and is definitely worth trying at home.

Happy cooking! xx

Serves 5
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

1 lemon juice
500g okra
2 onions (diced)
3 tbsp rice bran or olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 green capsicum (diced)
4 large tomatoes (diced)
1 tsp salt
1 400g tin chickpeas
1/2 tsp black pepper

Peel the tips of the okra, wash and set aside. Place over the juice of 1 lemon and place into a fry pan with the diced onion and oil. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until onions begin to go translucent in colour. Slice and add in the garlic cloves, the diced capsicum and tomatoes. Add in the salt and then bring to the boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer. Add in the chickpeas and cook until okra and tomatoes have completely softened.

Add in the pepper right before serving and enjoy hot!

It is that simple!