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Frozen okra (bamia) in a bowl with basil leaves and tomato.
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4.8 from 5 votes

Quick Frozen Okra with Chili Tomato and Basil (Bamia)

This recipe using frozen okra is fast, easy to make and will impress even the biggest okra haters.
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 274kcal
Cost $5/ 3€



  • 450 g frozen okra (1 bag)
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
  • ½ tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tbsp Aleppo chili flakes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (for cooking)
  • 2 pc fresh Roma tomatoes
  • ½ bunch fresh basil (or cilantro if you prefer)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Prepare all of your ingredients before you start. Slice the garlic thinly, chop the tomatoes roughly and slice the basil into thin pieces (chiffonade).
    All of the ingredients on a black marble table for the frozen okra, ready to go.
  • Add the olive oil to a saute pan (make sure you've got a lid that fits) and heat over medium-high heat.
    Once it starts to get hot, add the bag of frozen okra to the pan and stir with the spoon. Be careful not to burn yourself here - don't let the oil get too hot before adding the okra.
    Frying the frozen okra in a pan with high sides.
  • Fry the okra for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until it starts to turn golden brown on the edges. Stir frequently.
    The okra in the pan turning golden brown.
  • Once the okra has taken on a golden brown colour, season it generally with salt. Turn off the heat, add the tomato paste, stir for 30 seconds and then add the garlic, chili, fresh tomatoes and water.
    Season the liquid with salt and cover the pan.
    Adding the rest of the ingredients to the frozen okra.
  • Continue cooking over low heat with the lid for about 5-10 minutes, or until the okra is soft but not overcooked.
    Finish the okra with the chopped basil and a good glug of olive oil on top.
    The finished okra on a table with fresh basil leaves on top.


The frozen okra will spatter a lot when it hits the hot oil, so it's best to have a pot with high sides to prevent the oil from splattering over your kitchen stove. Better yet, use a large stock pot with a lid.
Frying the okra in the oil helps to remove some of the naturally "slimy" texture.


Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Sodium: 1247mg | Potassium: 773mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2379IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 204mg | Iron: 2mg
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