Recipe: Vegetarian Okra Stew (Maraq Bamiya) with Vermicelli Rice

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Though I’m not a fan of Kuwaiti rice based dishes, maraq bamiya is a different story. Ever since I was a toddler I adored maraq bamiya. I always thought it was very hard to make until I tried it myself. Now whenever i long for maraq bamiya I make it and within one hour it’s ready on the table. It takes 20 minutes to make but 40 minutes to cook slowly on the stove o “yetsakar” so it would taste amazing 😀

One day I decided to make maraq bamiya so I went online and got several recipes and I combined them to extract a way to make my own meatless version. The ingredients are shown in my handwriting above. Divide the quantities by 5 to make it for 1 person for example and so on…

The first thing to do is get the rice, measure the quantity and put it in a sieve and cover it with water for 25 minutes. 200-250g would be enough for 2 persons.

Meanwhile you can prepare the maraq. All you need is the following: potato, garlic, tomatoes, tomato Paste, and Okra (bamiya)

The garlic I use is from the UK, it’s already crushed and frozen, all I need is to take the quantity I want and drop it in the pan. You can crush your own garlic of course however you like.

I dropped them into a deep pan with a little bit of vegetable oil.

Peeled the potato and cut it into cubes.

Added the cubes on top of the garlic and oil and stirred…

I added a tea spoon of Kuwaiti bhar and a tea spoon of Korkom. Don’t ask me what’s in the Kuwaiti bhar I was given a jar of it a long time ago and it’s a mix of different spices ground together, however you can get it at any local mill around Kuwait.

Next I added plenty of salt and black pepper and stirred…

As for the Okra (bamiya) I once bought them from the Co-op, cleaned and cut their heads and frozen them and now I use them bag by bag. But you can always buy the already frozen ones, just make sure you wash the ice off first.

Add them on top of the potatoes and mix…

Add the crushed tomatoes… mix

Then add water…

Add a little bit of lemon juice to thicken the maraq and give it a sour edge…

It looks watery, I need it to thicken to a “maraq” consistency…

Add the tomato paste and stir…

And that’s it! Yes, the maraq is done! Just keep it on low heat for 25-30 minutes to simmer and let the flavours develop then serve. Easy, no? Now it’s time for the rice.

Just wash the rice 2-3 times with the water then bring a pan, add a little tiny bit of oil and if you want to make vermicelli rice then add the vermicelli now. Skip the vermicelli steps if you want to make plain white rice.

Stir the vermicelli constantly so it doesn’t burn…

When it’s colour becomes golden and you begin to smell French Fries like the picture the below add the rice immediately!

Mix the rice and the vermicelli together then add water…

I add hot water from the kettle and pour it until it covers the rice completely then let it boil away on high heat…

When there is just a little amount of water left in the bottom of the pan, lower the heat to the minimum. I keep it on dial number 2 on the small eye of my electric oven if that helps.

Then i cover the pan with piece of foil paper and put the lid on so the rice cooks in its own steam, yetsakkar y3ni, for 25 minutes.

Set the table, make a salad, take a bath, you have 25 free minutes until the food is ready. Once the 25 minutes are up you can remove the lid and the foil and inhale the heavenly scent of vermicelli rice.

Yasalaam… the rice is fluffy and has 7akook too! 7akook -hakook- is the oily crispy layer of rice found at the very bottom of the rice pan and is the best thing to nibble on, ever! The maraq smells amazing, the entire house smells amazing, all i need is my favourite salted low fat laban from KDD and we have got an amazing lunch.

Very fast, very easy, low fat, vegetarian traditional dish! and the best thing is the leftover maraq is even more tasty the next day. If i can do it then so can you, in less than one hour! Give it a try and see.


The ingredients in English: Enough for 5 persons…

  • 1 Kilos Okra
  • 1/2 Kilo Potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes
  • 6 garlic cloves, 4 crushed and 2 as is
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 box Tomato Paste, i use KDD’s
  • 3/4 Kilos (750g) Crushed Tomatoes, fresh or tinned
  • Spices: Salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon Kuwaiti Spices
  • One small green chilli with wholes poked into it with a fork

12 Responses to “Recipe: Vegetarian Okra Stew (Maraq Bamiya) with Vermicelli Rice”

  1. can i have the recipe in englishhhh pleaseeeeeeee ;***

  2. Kuweight 64 says:

    Lovely! Sounds like a great recipe. Will wait for your recipe in English.

  3. thankkk uuuu 😀
    can’t waittt to try it

  4. Kuweight 64 says:

    Thankyou so much for recipe in English. Will be preparing it in a day or two.

  5. Kuweight 64 says:

    Hi Danderma, I finally prepared the ‘Maraq Bamia’ for lunch today and it turned out wonderful. Thankyou once again for the lovely recipe and I have posted pictures of the Maraq Bamia I prepared on my blog

    • danderma says:

      kuweight 64: ur blog won’t let me comment :(
      good job with the maraq though… it looks good!

  6. shoosh says:

    hiii looks yummy… where can i find the garlic cubes here in kuwait?