I am surprised that I haven’t posted any Iranian recipes after the Fereni. I am really surprised – how did that happen? 😕 I had promised myself to explore a lot of Iranian food and cook them up for the blog, but going through my recipe index, that hasn’t happened. Hmm… OK, let me explain to you why I love Iranian food. The first company I worked with was an Iranian company. I worked there only for seven months but those were lovely days. We did not have to carry lunch and everyday except Thursday, which was a KFC day, would be typical Iranian food -the crisp white and yellow rice topped with warm butter or sometimes laced with barberries (zereshk), those perfectly grilled kebabs, their mildly spiced curries, the tabbouleh and the dessert, which most of the time, would be the fereni, but a thicker one. The whole day, we could drink to our heart’s content their delicious tea. Oh boy, how much I used to wait for lunch time! That explains one reason why I gained almost a kg a month by the time I left the company. 😀
I have already been trying a few of their cuisine, and InShaAllah, they will slowly appear on the blog, as I move across my drafts. So let this be the first one to start with… Khoresht Bamia is a curry cooked with okra zero (mini okras) and lamb. That is one thing I love about their food – there is a vegetable in their non-veg dishes. The curry is a very tomato loaded stew with minimal flavors, yet the final taste is outstanding. Scoop it up with your naans, or even better make some butter rice and savor them hot! Initially, my parents used to not like the combination but after having it with me for a couple of times, they love this curry. I have cooked this with beef chunks but if you are able to get lamb, then do use it. I have noticed that normally Brazilian or Australian lamb is used in their food, as it has a particular flavor and also adds quite a nice fat content to the final dish. Before I move onto the recipe, you can see that there is a very striking similarity between this recipe and the Margat Bamia, which has its offspring from Iraq! The world is indeed a small place… 🙂 Off to the way I make it…
Khoreshte Bamieh ~ Iranian Meat Okra Stew
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 cloves garlic pounded
- 2 onions minced
- 500 gm beef without bone
- 400 gm okra zero
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 to mato chopped
- 2 bouillon cubes optional
- Juice of one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a saucepan. Briefly fry the bay leaf and garlic.
- Add in the onions and saute on high flame till it browns.
- Now add in the beef and saute till it turns whitish.
- Add a cup of water with some salt and cook till it is almost done.
- When the beef is almost cooked, add the okra, tomato paste, tomato and bouillion cubes and cook till the beef is well cooked and the okras are soft.
- Add the lemon juice, adjust seasoning and serve hot with cooked rice or naan!
2. I have used frozen okra, so I added it directly to the curry. If you are using fresh, then saute it in a little oil till the sliminess is gone and then add to the curry.
3. I used Knorr olive oil herb cube here. You can use vegetable or beef stock cube, or even omit it completely.