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Prep 45 mins
Cook 3 hrs
This dish is similar to Bazella, with its tomato-based broth. In this dish, the main ingredients are fasoulia, a type of lima bean and meat. Cubes of lamb may be substituted for the beef. I learned how to prepare this dish while I was living in Syria for a year, studying abroad. Please note: if you use dry lima beans, they must soak in water overnight. The shells may come off of them when you begin to cook them, but this is normal.
- 2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed lamb may be substituted
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste, Durra brand in Middle East, I use Contadina in the US
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 8 cups water
- 2 (16 ounce) bags lima beans (frozen or dry)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- season salt (optional)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes, Maggi brand in the Middle East
- Brown meat in a large frying pan with some olive oil from the bottle. Add season salt if desired or use regular salt and pepper. Make sure all pieces of meat have been browned. Set aside.
- In a stew pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil and the tomato paste. Fry the tomato paste about 5-8 minutes. If it seems dry, add more oil in small amounts. It should be chunky in the oil, not runny like soup. Stir constantly! This will burn very easily.
- Turn down the heat, add 2 cups of water. Stand back, it may spit at you! Continue to add the water in 2-cup increments. Add the boullion cubes. Stir around and scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure all tomato paste is mixed in the water.
- Add the lima beans and the meat. Bring to a boil (should take about 5 minutes) then reduce to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the quality of the meat, it may take 2-4 hours for the meat to become tender.
- Add more water if too much boils out or it is too salty.
- Serve with Middle Eastern rice.
- This can be prepared in a stainless steel or non-stick pan. I prefer non-stick. Additionally, it may be transferred to a crock pot to simmer all day. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended!
I found this fairly bland even though I added a good amount of salt. Almost every other Fasoulia (or Fasolia) recipe I found has onions and garlic which would probably up the flavor quite a bit. Other recipes also used different beans such as butter, white and I even saw one for kidney beans. Based on your preference you could probably adjust to suit your tastes. Next time I wil try it with the lamb. Thanks for something different.