Sunday, 3 January 2016

Arabic Seven Spice (Baharat) White Bean Stew

Eating black eyed peas at the start of the New Year had become a bit of a tradition in my home, reputed to bring good luck and prosperity. 

Goulash made with Black Eyed Beans
Black Eyed Peas Hot Pot
Ginger Black Eyed Peas
Trini Black Eyed Peas with Rice

Well whether its true or not, I fancied a change this time round and made something different. Still with pulse goodness.  I like the natural buttery nature of butter beans more than cannelini beans, but choose whatever white bean takes your fancy if you want to try this recipe.  What really tempted me to make this White Bean Soup was actually the Arabic Seven Spices  known as Baharat.  Follow this link to learn and see so many other variations of the Middle Eastern - Arabic Seven Spice - Baharat.
When the dish was completed, I felt it was more of a stew than a soup which was actually a good thing, making this suitable more for a meal than a light lunch.  The weather has been stupendous, the rain has been relentless - down pouring bucket by the bucket non-stop, so you can imagine how welcoming this stew was for me and my sniffly nose. 

This thick tomato based stew is not spicy hot like cuisine rooted in the Indian Sub-Continent, but gentler and more warming. The warmth comes from the paprika and freshly ground black peppercorns. 
D absolutely loved it and said he could eat another bowl of it, I said good.  You can have it again tomorrow (that was today!).  I am sharing this with My Legume Love Affair created by The Well Seasoned Cook and coordinated by Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen.  This month it is being hosted by Sizzling Tastebuds.

Baharat Butter Bean Stew
Serves 4
250g dried butter beans, soaked overnight then cooked and drained.  
Set aside I used the boil setting on my Thermocook and cooked the soaked beans.
Disclosure: Froothie UK sent me the Optimum ThermoCook to use and review at home.  I am still experimenting with it, so am still formulating an honest opinion about it.  Affiliate links included in the post. 

OR  2 x 400g canned white beans

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 celery sticks, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons Baharat - Arabic Seven Spice(shop bought or home-made) 
1 x 4oog tinned tomatoes, chopped
Salt to taste
Optional: Handful of coriander, minced for garnish
Heat the oil in a wide pan, then fry the onions and celery until very soft.  
Then stir in the spices and cook for a few minutes. 
Stir in the tomatoes and cook, until the tomatoes begin to disintegrate.  
Then stir in the white beans and 200ml water and cook on medium heat until the sauce thickens. 
Season to taste. 
Stir through the optional coriander and serve immediately with crusty bread. 
Adapted from Dock Kitchen Cookbook.  Find the original recipe here. 
Another version from The Iraqi Cookbook can be found here.


  1. A bean stew is just the right dish at the moment. I'll need to make some!

  2. Hi Shaheen,
    Can you recommend one of your best cookbooks? I'm looking for some new and relatively simple recipes...Also, I was at Aldi's today and they had no extra light Olive oil but did have extra light grapeseed oil, which I have never used before, it is also suitable for sauteeing, frying, baking. Have you used this? Happy 2016!

    1. Hi e.
      Left a message on your blog - I will come by in a while and see your response re cookbook, or you can come back here and let me know.
      The grapeseed oil is suitable for cooking, but it is a by product apparently from wine making. No real health benefits, but okay to use in cooking. I have used is in the past, but not a regular thing.

  3. What a lovely bean stew, looks Amazing! Waw! 👍🏻

    1. Thank you Sophie, it was quite delicious

  4. Looks yummy and warm...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  5. With the weather turning colder, all I want to eat is bowls of big spicy stews at the moment. I'd be happy with that tomorrow too!

    1. Thanks Joey, this is more warming - think you'd love it.

  6. I'm a big fan of baharat. I have a spice mill in my kitchen full of my MIL's recipe (my FIL was Iraqi, so she used to make it for him). Gorgeous recipe, this!

    1. Elizabeth that is genuinely good to hear. And your so lucky to have it made for you too.

  7. Shaheen thanks so much for Linking this to MLLA :) that bowl looks absolutely inviting in the chilly days :)


    1. Thank You Kalyani, it was one of the most delicious butter bean recipes I have had in a long time.


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