Black-eyed peas and chard stew (fassoolia wselek)

dup foulieh wkezThis dish can be made either with fava beans or black-eyed peas. It is vegan, comforting, delicious, healthy, economical, in short, perfect. We made it last week, adding a squeeze of Seville orange juice (bousfeyr) at the end, instead of the usual lemon (because these oranges are sweet and sour and their season is very short). 

This is a dish that my friend Rima, a caterer @Rim-Ram Gourmet (and the mother of Matteo el-Khodr, the Arab world’s one and only falsetto opera singer) makes to perfection. It is reputed to be a typical Beiruti dish from the Sunni community. This post is inspired by her recipe.

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

  • 2 cans of black-eyed peas or fava or dried peas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed and then cooked in plenty of water for one hour or until tender
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste (mash the garlic cloves in a mortar or a mini-processor)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves chopped fine
  • 1 bunch Swiss Chard, stalks removed (cut into small sticks) and leaves shredded fine
  • salt, black pepper or allspice, to taste
  • juice of a lemon or Seville orange (substitute 1 or 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses)
  • 1 bunch of radishes for garnish
  • Extra lemons or orange quarters if needed

 1. Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onions till golden; add the garlic and cilantro and fry a few seconds till wilted and fragrant. While frying the onions, boil the stalks (cut into small half-inch sticks) till tender. Drain and fry the stalks for 5 minutes with the onion mixture, then add the Swiss Chard and fry till wilted. Add the peas and about 2 cups of their liquid and simmer for 20 minutes or so; season and pour the citrus juice the last few minutes of cooking. Serve warm or at room temperature with radishes and extra lemon or orange quarters.

dup fassoulia

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  1. Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    A wholesome and scrumptious dish! That combination is wonderful.



  2. Posted February 8, 2014 at 4:31 am | Permalink

    I’m not usually a chard fan, but this I could fall in love with!

  3. Posted February 9, 2014 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Looks like a great recipe, must try it soon. I notice it uses plenty of olive oil which would be one of the secrets to its deliciousness

  4. Posted February 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Joumana, this is a fabulous recipe. I adore both beans and chard but the addition of cilantro and orange is wonderful and really must kick this up. I would love to try this. I love recipes that are inexpensive and healthy but that are incredibly flavorful and satisfying.

  5. Posted February 10, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    It sounds delicious, Joumana! Swiss Chard is a favorite.

    Just to let you know, my blog has been hacked :( Waiting for Blogger to sort things out but I’m without a blog for now. Sad people out there.

  6. Posted February 11, 2014 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    Wow! I grew up on foul (medammas, w ruz) but have never had it with chard. I’m bookmarking this to try when our chard crop overflows in winter!

  7. Posted February 11, 2014 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    Any legume with leafy greens is one of my favorite combinations… I love the idea of giving it a Lebanese twist!

  8. Posted February 12, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I could eat this dish everyday and be a VERY happy man. It looks SO satisfying!

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