m. c. de marco: The New Kitchen Cookbook

Bamia (Sephardic Okra)

This is a combination of Tori Avery’s spices and Food.com’s tomato base for the traditional Sephardic okra dish.


  • 2 lbs. fresh okra
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz. canned plum tomatoes in sauce
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp red pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Fry the onion in the oil in a covered pan large enough for everything.
  2. Trim the tops and a bit of the tip off each okra.
  3. When the onions are clear, add garlic to the pan for one minute.
  4. Optionally, add okra to the pan and cook down a bit.
  5. Add remaining ingredients to the pan.
  6. Simmer about 25 minutes to desired tenderness, stirring frequently.


Peter likes his food spicy, but Tori has some advice for toning it down.

Egyptian Bamya also includes lamb and is traditionally served with Roz bil Shaghria.