Dried Okra Soup

Kuru bamya çorbası


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

This traditional Anatolian soup has a distinct sour taste. It is often served at ceremonial feasts, between courses to refresh the palate. Beads of dried okra, most of which are destined for this soup, hang in markets all over Anatolia and in the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul.


  • 2 oz/60 g lamb or mutton scraps, cut into small pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kuyrukyağı (sheep’s tail fat), clarified or ordinary butter
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2 pints/1.2 litres lamb stock
  • 2 oz/60 g small dried okra, loose or on strings
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Brown the onions and the meat in the fat. Stir in the tomato purée and pour in the stock. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the meat is tender.
  • Rub the strings of okra in a clean towel to remove the dust and hairs. Rinse and place them in a pan with half the lemon juice. Cover with just enough water and boil for 10-15 minutes. Drain and refresh the okra under running cold water and slip them off the strings. Add them to the soup with the rest of the lemon juice and bring to the boil. Season to taste. Cover the pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot on its own, or spoon it over a plain pilaf.