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Mediterranean-Style Okra

It’s officially okra season! It’s that time of year when okra can be found at every market and on several farmers tables. As we welcome back this savored summer crop, we simultaneously say goodbye to tomatoes. During this very brief overlap, we want to share the joy that is Bamya - a Mediterranean-style okra and tomato dish. It is the perfect balance of savory, tangy, and spicy. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this recipe - it's far from medi-okra!



  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped (1 cup chopped onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 small green chiles such as jalapeno chopped
  • 1 lb frozen or fresh cut okra sliced into rounds (or small whole okra, trimmed)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ cup crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tomato sliced into rounds
  • Juice of ½ lime more to your liking


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (or pan with a lid) over medium-high until shimmering but not smoking. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic and chopped jalapeno peppers. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes stirring regularly (do not let the garlic burn, if needed adjust heat).

Add the okra and sautee for 5 to 7 minutes over medium-high heat.

Season with kosher salt, black pepper and spices. Toss to coat.

Add the crushed tomatoes and water. Stir to combine. Add the tomato slices on top. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cover most of the way (leave a little opening at the top). Let the okra simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until the okra has softened. Uncover and add juice of ½ lime (more to your liking).

Remove from heat and serve over rice or with warm pita bread.


About Us

Market UmbrellaMarket Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.

Crescent City Farmers MarketThe Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round throughout New Orleans. The CCFM hosts nearly 60 local small farmers, fishers, and food producers, and more than 150,000 shoppers annually.