Winter is knocking on the door, and it’s time for some nice Lebanese-style hot Chili. Fasolia (Phaseolus vulgaris) is the typical name given to different varieties of red beans in Lebanon. And apparently in other countries in the Middle East such as Egypt and Turkey (Fasulye), Fasolia can refer to green beans as well.
In its basic form, the dish “Fasolia w Riz” which stands for Fasolia and rice is a simple yet succulent chili stew made with red beans, beef stew chunks, tomato paste and subtle Middle Eastern spices. It is served as a soup with a side of rice with vermicelli. Fasolia can also be made with goat meat, or with chunks of meat with the bones left on.
Also try our Vegetarian Fasolia Beans Stew recipe.
Cooking the Fasolia Beans
After soaking the beans for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight), boil them for about 5 minutes then empty their water and rinse them. Boil again and let simmer until beans are fully cooked (turn mushy). The beans we used in preparing this recipe were an heirloom variety from Lebanon that are light in color.
Fry some finely chopped onions with a bit of olive oil, add beef stew chunks, spices, cilantro leaves and garlic and sautee for a bit until the beef cooks. Then add warm water, bring to a boil, then pour the cooked beans and their water in the beef saute pot, add tomato paste, bring to a boil and let simmer.
Preparing Rice With Vermicelli
Lebanese rice that is served with many stews and traditional dishes tends to be just plain rice cooked with some vermicelli.
Break some angel hair (or birds nest) vermicelli into small pieces and fry them with some butter until they turn red. Then add to your rice cooking pot, mix well and let simmer.
Summary: A Traditional and Easy to Make Lebanese Beef Chili Stew
Fasolia Beef Chili Ingredients (5 servings)
- 2 cups of red beans
- 1 lb of beef stew chunks (or filet)
- 6 teaspoons of tomato paste
- 10 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of Lebanese 7-Spices
- 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of dried cilantro leaves (optional)
- 1 cup of rice
- 1/4 cup of vermicelli (bird nest or angel hair vermicelli)
Fasolia Preparation Method
- Soak the beans for 6 hours or overnight.
- When ready, rinse them then add to a cooking pot with 6 cups of water, boil for 5 minutes then drain the beans and discard their water.
- Add the beans back to the pot with 6 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil again, then lower heat to minimum and let simmer for 40-80 minutes depending on what type of beans you have. Well cooked beans get smashed easily between your finger tips.
- Add 1 finely chopped onion to a deep pot and lightly fry with 3-4 table spoons of oil (olive oil) on medium heat while stirring.
- When onions start turning a bit pinkish (10 minutes in), add the minced garlic and cilantro leaves, and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Cut meat into small cubes (1 inch) and add to pot on top of onions and garlic
- Then add salt, 7-spices, black pepper, ground cinnamon to meat pot, stir well for a few minutes until the beef turns light brown
- Add 3 cups of warm water to the meat pot, stir well and bring to a boil
- Pour the cooked beans with their water on top of the meat pot
- Add the tomato paste, stirr well, and let simmer on low heat for another 20-30 minutes while stirring occasionally
- While the chili simmers, chop the vermicelli into 1 inch pieces then lightly fry with a tiny bit of butter, or oil, then add them to your rice maker or rice pot along with 1 cups of rice and 2 cups of water, a bit of salt, and let cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is done.
- Serve chili hot in a bowl on top of a few spoons of rice
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 70 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6
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