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Lebanese Okra Stew

(Yak'nit Bahmeh)

So fragrant and rich--a little mezza, a little pita, this bubbly stew is enough to make any 6 people completely full and happy.

In a Dutch oven, lightly brown the meat and onion in the butter. If you're using fresh okra, cut off their stems, add them to the pot, and fry gently for a few minutes. Mix in the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Add tomato paste, then stir in water.

Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, then simmer for at least an hour--so the meat is very tender. Add more water, if necessary.

When you're 10 minutes away from serving, add the frozen okra (if you're using instead of the fresh). Then, in a separate pan, crush the minced garlic with a little salt and fry it in a Tablespoon of butter with the coriander until the garlic begins to smell sweet.

When ready to serve, stir the garlic mixture and the lemon juice into the soup and ladle into bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley.