Iraqi beef and okra stew (Marag bamia)

Iraqi beef and okra stew (Marag bamia)


5 people made this

About this recipe: This beef and okra stew is easy and unique, and great for midweek meals. It is quick, simple and really delicious!

Danaahmad Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Serves: 6 

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 500g beef, cut into large pieces
  • 200g okra, preferably the smaller variety
  • 800g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed to a paste
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

  1. In a medium pot or casserole, heat the oil over a medium heat. Fry the onion and beef, stirring constantly, until the onion has softened and the meat has browned.
  2. Add the okra into the pot and mix. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato puree and garlic. Mix gently so as not to break the okra. Simmer gently.
  3. Once the mixture has dried up a little, add the juice of the lemon and salt. Cover the mixture with water until just covered. Allow it to cook through till the beef is tender. Do not stir it so as not to break the okra. If there is too much liquid, uncover for the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking.


Replacing tinned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes also works for this recipe.
Traditionally, fatty meat is used for this dish, as it adds more flavour. However, lean meat is also very good and can be used instead. Also, meat on the bone tends to be more flavourful.
This stew is served with steamed basmati (long-grain) rice.

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Reviews (3)


- 13 Aug 2012


Simple and delicious. Thank you Danaahmad! - 20 Mar 2015


I didn't have steak so made meatballs for the stew instead! Turned out delicious! Very easy, will be using this recipe again! - 12 Jun 2014

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