This tasty green pea stew known as Bazella is packed with an abundance of fresh green peas, and a rich tomato-y broth seasoned with turmeric, caraway, cinnamon, and harissa⏤it's one of those magical one-pot meals that are as simple to make as they are delicious to eat. It's no wonder every country in the Mediterranean has their own version of it. Naturally Delicious, Gluten-free, & Dairy-free.
If you're already familiar with Bazella, you're are familiar with the Lebanese version of Bazella, however, the North African version may soon become your favourite version of this classic Arab green pea stew (Bazella)⏤it's jam-packed with flavour from the sweet green peas, carrots, potatoes, and a rich tomato-y broth seasoned with turmeric, caraway, cinnamon, and a little touch of heat, thanks to the harissa⏤it's one of those magical one-pot meals that are as simple to make as they are delicious.
The version of bazella uses the Libyan recipe template which includes more vegetables, spices, & herbs than the Middle Eastern (Lebanese) version most people are used to.
Why you'll Love this Bazella!
This Bazella recipe is miles from boring and bland and far from anything you’ve been eating all winter long, this warmly-spiced, green pea stew is an exciting take on one-pot pantry dinners and checks all our boxes;
- minimal effort required.
- light, yet soul-satisfying
- 100% pantry ingredients
- Check, check, check.
Let’s get cooking.
What’s in this green pea Stew?
Spice is an important element in Mediterranean cooking, but in this case, it’s what makes this stew over the top is the different flavour profile. In the spirit of many Libyan dishes, our stew uses cinnamon, turmeric, Caraway (or Libyan baharat), and harissa to give it its warm, spicy, and memorable flavour.
Don't be scared to add the Harissa to this stew, for fear of it being too spicy, the harissa amount is very small and adds a flavour profile that's very unique to this recipe. You can also find mild versions of harissa if you can't stand any degree of heat in your food.
The rest of the ingredients for this stew can be found in your pantry frozen pea, onions, potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, and meat of your choice.
How Do You Make a Green Pea Stew?
This hearty green pea stew can come together in 45 minutes on your stove-top or in 30 minutes in an instant pot and with minimal effort. Here’s how we do it:
- Give your onions a good saute with a healthy amount of olive oil. This step should never be missed. Cooking your onions in fat before adding the rest of the ingredients to a large pot helps give any stew a more balanced, slightly sweeter flavour. It’s science!
- Add your spices into the onion mixture and stir until they’re fragrant. This is called blooming the spices. When you bloom the spices they come alive and provides a more define flavour in your finished dish. Once spices have bloomed (2-3 minutes.) Add the tomato paste and harissa. Saute for a few minutes in the pot. By sauteing the tomato paste, you will bring out all the sweet flavours of the tomato paste and remove and acidic flavours.
- Add your meat at this stage, This gives the meat a chance to get to know the aromatic flavours a bit better and the flavours become infused in the meat resulting in a tasty piece of meat.
- Add in your water and all the veggies to the pot. Stir everything together and let it simmer.
- Finally, once the stew is finished, add some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. You could even top it off with your favourite herb smash. We save this for last to keep the herbs from completely wilting and turning to mush during the simmering process.
- Once the herbs are added, remove from heat and cover your stew for an additional 2 minutes and then serve with a piece of warm bread or rice.
Can Stew Be Healthy and Tasty?
Because this stew is loaded with vegetables, we can safely say that it makes for one very healthy meal. Even better, the turmeric and cinnamon spices I've used to flavour this dish hold anti-inflammatory properties that make it even more beneficial than your standard stews. This stew is 90% veg and 10% meat, which is awesome for anyone trying to include more vegetables in their diet.
This magical stew is incredibly easy to make fully adaptable, and it’s full of good-for-you veggies, and also happens to be naturally gluten-free and can be made as a vegan version too. And it’s just the perfect balance of sweet, spicy and savoury seasonal flavours. It's also easy to make in the slow cooker, pressure cooker, or on the stovetop. Just adjust the water ratio.
Loved this recipe? Here are some more libyan must try recipes
- 4 chicken thighs* bone-in, skin-off
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste heaping
- 1 teaspoon harissa (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 cups frozen green peas
- 1 medium potato peeled, diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat your pot on a medium-high; add the olive oil once the pot is warm. Add the olive oil. Within a minute, you'll smell the fruity aroma from the oil, then add the onions and pinch of salt. Cover the pot and allow the onions to cook until transparent.
- Add the turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper; allow the spices to bloom for a minute, then add the harissa & tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste for 2-3 minutes to bring out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. (if the tomato paste is sticking to your pot reduce the heat)
- After a few minutes of cooking the tomato base, it's time to add the chicken. Allow the chicken to infuse in the spices⏤ this will take a few minutes; try not to rush the process slow cooking is a favourable method for stews.
- Now that your chicken is flavourful and your home is smelling delicious, it's time to add the veggies. Add the potatoes, green peas, and carrot to the pot, then cover with water. The water should barely cover the chicken. The exact amount of water depends on the size of pot you use, so it best just add enough to cover the chicken.
- Bring the stew to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat to a soft simmer and cover for 35 minutes. Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the pot. Let it cool enough to handle and remove the chicken from the bone, then add it back to the pot.
- Once the sauce has slightly thickened and the veggies are sweet and tender, add the garlic & caraway⏤cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Before serving, sprinkle on some cilantro or parsley and serve with bread or rice.