Meatless Bamia

Middle Eastern Okra Stew

This hearty stew with okra is a delicious meatless variation of the classic bamia recipe from the Middle East. We made it with tomatoes, coriander, and allspice, plus chickpeas for extra proteins.

Vegan Bamia Okra Stew with Chickpeas


Nutrition per serving
Net Carbs44.2 g16.1%
of which Sugars18.5 g20.5%
Fibers16.4 g58.4%
Fats10.8 g16.6%
of which Saturates1.4 g7.2%
of which Omega 36.1 g553.5%
Proteins15.2 g33%
Calcium200 mg20%
Vitamin A137 mcg19.6%
Vitamin C66 mg88.2%
Iron5.9 mg39.6%
Potassium1229 mg35.1%
Sodium31 mg1.4%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Kcal335 16.8%
Macro split
  • net carbs 51%
  • sugars 21%
  • fats 12%
  • saturates 2%
  • proteins 18%
  • fibers 19%
*RDA based on a 2000 kcal diet;
**Nutritional data sources: USDA, food labels.
335 per serving

This vegan okra stew is a tasty meatless variation of the classic bamia dish from the Middle East. It's hearty and filling, perfect to warm up on a cold day or prepare a quick family dinner. We'll show you how to do it in just three simple steps!

Also known as bamieh or bamya, bamia consists of chopped okra pods stewed with tomatoes and onions. It's usually seasoned with coriander, allspice, bay leaves and rounded up with lemon juice and sugar for a sweet and sour finish.

While the classic Middle Eastern recipe includes lamb, we prepared our recipe using chickpeas instead. Chickpeas are a common ingredient in those regions and make a wonderful plant-based alternative to meat. They pack plenty of proteins and fibres, all with very little fats.

The word bamia actually means okra in Turkish; and it's also known as ochro and "ladies' fingers". It's a nutritious vegetable packed with vitamins and fibres. In particular, it contains soluble fibres that form a viscous gel able to bind to cholesterol during digestion, reducing its absorption in the gut[1]. Therefore, consuming more okra is a cheap and easy way to keep cholesterol in check and prevent heart diseases.

A bowl of this stew makes a well-balanced vegan meal that provides two of your 5-a-day for fruit and vegetables plus healthy fats from extra virgin olive oil. Each serving has less than 300 calories, and it covers 30% of your RDI of proteins and 40% RDI of fibres.

Enjoy this delicious stew with whole grain rice, couscous, or homemade flatbread.

And if you want to make a Middle Eastern-themed dinner, you can serve it alongside baba ganoush, falafels, tabbouleh, and baklava.

For other saucy stews ideas, check out this Lebanese fasolia or chilli spinach stew from Ghana.


Measuring System
Extra Virgin Olive Oil1 tbsp
Red Onions1
Garlic Cloves2
Allspice1 tsp
Okra160 g
Canned Chopped Tomatoes400 g
Fresh Coriander2 tbsp
Bay Leaves (optional)2
Canned Chickpeas240 g
Maple Syrup or Brown Sugar (optional)2 tsp

Step 1

Heat the oil in a skillet, add finely sliced onions and garlic.

Tip in allspice and sizzle all for 3-5 minutes until the onion has softened and the garlic is fragrant.

onions sizzled in a skillet with garlic and allspice

Step 2

Next, slice the okra into small chunks and add them to the skillet.

Tip in the canned tomatoes, finely chopped coriander, bay leaves, and the chickpeas with their canning water.

Bring to a boil and simmer the ingredients over low heat for 15-20 minutes.

okra stew with chickpeas and tomatoes

Step 3

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and maple syrup if you're using it.

Divide the okra stew among bowls and serve your delicious vegan bamia with steamed rice, couscous, or vermicelli noodles.

vegan bamya okra stew in a bowl


  • You can replace allspice with a mix of ground nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.

  • You can prepare the stew with fresh or frozen okra, and if you find them, try using baby okra pods — they're so pretty!