I was actually planning to go slow on challenges. Not because I don't enjoy them, in fact, I enjoy them a lot because they push you to try recipes which otherwise you wouldn't have attempted, or would just languish into the never ending list of bookmarked recipes. In fact, time is becoming a major constraint now, or more than that, it looks like a luxury. Where I used to be at ease with cooking and clicking in the old house, the new kitchen and the new surroundings are making me jittery. Yes, it takes a lot of time to settle in and get used to but sometimes, I feel I am just pressurizing myself to get accustomed to it faster than it should be! I still, Alhamdulillah, have some drafts which will keep the blog afloat but now, it is slowing down, as I cook but can't click or click but can't get at least a decent picture! So on and so forth....
As soon as I saw Sadaf's
post last month, I couldn't resist taking the plunge into this awesome group called Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Cooking Club
. Staying in an Arab country, I would love to try as much as Arab recipes in my kitchen. For this month, our host is Maryam
and the chosen country for the month is Iraq. We were given a few choices from which we had to choose and make. This is the recipe that caught my attention. In fact, the stew which combines mutton and okra is not unique to Iraq, however every country has their own version with some variations. The link given was this one
and I went hunting around Google for more links. I found that most the recipes had variations, depending upon their family preferences. I made it this way, mixing and matching whatever I could find, so it is definitely not an authentic version! The end result was really delicious. The whole family loved it, my B and I carried it over for lunch to office to enjoy it again.
Margat Bamia ~ Iraqi Mutton Okra Stew
750 gm mutton, large peices with bone
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, deskinned
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 packet (135 gm) tomato paste
400 gm pack frozen okra (small ones)
1 tbsp red chilli flakes
Wash the mutton well. Mix with turmeric powder, paprika powder and salt and set aside for 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the mutton and cook for 10 minutes till it turns whitish. Add a cup of water and the garlic clove and cook on high for 5 whistles. Switch off and allow the pressure to go by itself.
Open the lid and switch on the flame. Add in the tomato and the paste and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Now add the okra along with the chilli flakes and mix well. Close the lid and cook on high flame for two whistles. Switch off and allow the pressure to go by itself.
Serve warm with plain rice! Or like I did, with some Egyptian Yellow Rice, recipe which will come soon, InShaAllah... :)
1. You can cook on stove top taking all the time, however, I preferred to go the easy way!
2. You can increase the tomatoes and reduce the paste. I did not have much tomatoes on hand, so added more paste.
3. My stew was thick. Add more water for a watery stew.
Do check out what my other mates have also made for this challenge!