The history of Egyptian cuisine goes back to the Pharaonic era. There are many Pharaonic foods that are still present on the Egyptian tables. “Okra” has been known since ancient times. It was planted in the Greek and Roman era, and carvings of it were found on the Pharaonic temples. Okra in general is one of the favorite foods of many, and the okra casserole is considered the best food, and okra has different ways of preparation. Indeed, Bamia is one of the traditional, historical dishes that were inherited by generations in Upper Egypt, and throughout these ages, the people of Upper Egypt and the countryside have mastered their presentation in the most delicious ways, and okra dish is one of the favourite dishes of many people, and it is one of the few dishes that spread All over the world starting from Egypt. Regarding the origin of okra, many historical sources indicate that okra began to be cultivated in Ancient Egypt 2,000 years ago. Many Pharaonic inscriptions were found on the walls of temples about okra and its cultivation in Ancient Egypt. Okra also has a special place among the ancient Egyptians, as it was the favorite food of the Queen of Ancient Egypt, Queen Cleopatra, and this is what was mentioned in The Whole Okra, which talks about the origin of okra cultivation and the history of its development. In the modern era, wild okra plants were seen growing on the banks of the White Nile in Sudan, and from here it began to be cultivated and spread, as it usually grows in hot regions in Africa and Asia, including the Middle East. Okra or “Lady’s Fingers” is called by many names, in Spain “kibombo”, in France “jumbo”, India “bhendi”, and in the eastern Mediterranean countries “bamia”. Okra was first introduced to Europe by the Muslim conquistadors of Andalusia and was accurately described by the scholar Abu Al-Abbas Al-Nabati, a citizen of Seville, in 1216 AD. Okra moved to the Americas by European immigrants, and Brazil knew it in 1658 AD, and there are now many varieties of it in the southern United States, and it is very popular there.
Bamia (okra with meat) is a Middle Eastern recipe cooked with lamb, tomatoes, and okra as main ingredients.
Okra tagine with meat (Bamia)
- 1 frozen pack of small okra
- 1 pound of meat cut into medium-sized pieces
- 7 tomatoes
- 1 big onion cut into small pieces
- 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
- In a pan, put the oil & onion on medium heat.
- When the onion turns into brown in color, add in the meat & stir quickly.
- Put the tomatoes in the blender, together with half a cup of water.
- When the meat becomes golden brown in color, add in the tomatoes. Cover & put the heat onto low.
- Leave for about 45 minutes kr until the tomato sauce thickens. Add 3 cups of water and leave them to boil.
- Now uncover & add the okra. Cook for 30 minutes then put your delicious meal in a tagine.
- Cook in the oven for more 30 minutes, at 160 degreeC.