Black-eyed pea Stew

Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Herb Pesto

Black-eyed pea Stew
This is a super-yummy stew which I adapted from the middle eastern version of fassoila (bean stew). Stews are a very common theme when exploring Middle Eastern and North African foods. It actually took me years to get the spices and sauce just right.But don’t worry, I promise you won’t have to spend years mastering a sauce, because this recipe is really simple yet, extremely flavorful.

Traditional the fassolia is made with lamb, beef or chicken cook in a tomato based sauce. I left out the tomato paste and just used paprika for the red colour. My Intention when I created this dish was to just make a bean soup, but it tasted flat without the meat, so I had added in my favorite herb pesto, which I just happened to have in the fridge that day, and it was perfect! I couldn’t have asked for more.

The herb pesto is the magic touch to this dish, and it is very addictive: I like to it top on everything. (as you can see) 😉 Although the pesto is the magic touch, the black-eyed peas are the star of this dish. They are humble little peas, packed full of flavour, quick cooking, and are often overlooked in most kitchens in favour of  black beans, buttery cannellini or plump butter beans. I am confident this recipe will change your mind about these little gems of the legume world, and I sure they will be your new favorite bean staple in your home.

black-eyed pea stew

Sometimes, I like to top this with tahini mixed with lemon and salt for an extra layer of creamy flavour.

Serves 4
//stew //
1 onion
1 tablespoon of ghee or olive oil
2 garlic cloves sliced
1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
1 tsp bharat
1/2 turmeric 
1 cans black-eyed beans (540 ml)
1 teaspoon of stock powder 1 tsp, or 1/2 stock cube 
or 1 cup stock 
1/2 lemon juiced
1 bunch Swiss or rainbow chard
For the herb pesto
1 handful fresh coriander (1/2 bunch) 
1 handful fresh parsley ( 1/2 a bunch)
1 green long chillies or place with sweet pepper for less heat.
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsps of walnuts
1 tbsp buckwheat honey or molasses
a big drizzle olive oil
1/2 lemon juiced with zest


Wash and finely slice the onion then add to the saucepan with a tablespoon of ghee or olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes until soft and sweet. Finely slice the garlic and add to the pan with the chilli powder, baharat, turmeric and cook for a couple of minutes, until the garlic & spices begin to become fragrant. Add the black-eyed beans, the stock powder and 1 cup of hot water and bring to a simmer or omit the stock powder & water and replace with a really good stock.

Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the chard stalks. Finely slice the stalks and add them to the pan, then finely shred the leaves and put to one side.

Put all the ingredients for the herb pesto into a food processor and blend until you have a smooth paste. Adjust the seasons with salt and pepper.

Once the beans are soft and the liquid has reduced to a thick soup-like consistency, stir in the chard leaves, squeeze in the juice of the lemon and adjust seasons if needed. Leave to cook for a couple of more minutes. Scoop into deep bowls and spoon over the herb pesto.

Serve with bread, even rice or just enjoy as is.

Notes & Tricks

Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice mix here is my favorite blend

Libyan Bharat

1 heaping tablespoon Turmeric 
2 Tablespoons caraway
1 tablespoon 7-spice mix
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Mix together and store in a well-sealed container. For the pesto: you can substitute the walnuts for pine nuts, cashews, & Brazilian nut and come out with a pretty amazing sauce. If you make this, let me see! Tag your photo with #lemonsandco on Instagram.


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