Chefs' Recipes

Saba Ethiopian's bamya (lamb and okra)

Head chef Tekebash Gebre's recipe for a Sudanese dish that's all warmth and spice.

By Saba Alemayoh
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
"My mother incorporates Sudanese dishes into her repertoire and this is one of them," says Alemayoh. "Okra is an undervalued vegetable in Australia. It is popular in African, Middle Eastern and Asian cooking. This dish goes well with rice and a fresh salad."


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • ¾ onion, diced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic (about 1 clove)
  • 25 gm (¼ cup) berbere
  • 400 gm canned whole tomatoes
  • 500 gm diced lamb leg or shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 500 gm okra, trimmed and coarsely chopped (extra fried, to serve, optional)


  • 1
    Heat oil in a casserole over low-medium heat and sauté onion until very tender (8-10 minutes). Add garlic and sauté until softened (1 minute). Add berbere and 1 tbsp water and stir to combine. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring and breaking up with the spoon, until well combined (1-2 minutes), then add diced lamb and 1/2 cup water, or enough to just cover lamb. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until almost tender (20-30 minutes).
  • 2
    Add okra and simmer until just tender, or until cooked to your liking (7 minutes; the longer the okra cooks, the more viscous it will become). Season to taste and serve.


Berbere is an Ethiopian spice mix. It's available from specialist spice shops, or online from