Middle Eastern White Bean Stew (Fasoolia Baida)

"This hearty and rich authentic Middle Eastern stew is made with white beans in a meaty tomato sauce, seasoned with all those good Middle Eastern spices. Fasoolia Baida is a complete comfort food, filling stick to your ribs and just delicious!"
-- @everylittlecrumb
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  • Recipe Card
Prep time 20mins
Cook time 1hr
Serves or Makes: 6

Recipe Card


  • 2 1/2 cups dried white beans
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 1/2 pound boneless beef cubes
  • 1 8 ounce tomato paste, can
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon seven spice or all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 bunches finely chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste


  • Step 1

    In a large bowl, add the white beans and enough water to cover the beans completely. Add the baking soda, and soak overnight.

  • Step 2

    The next day, drain and rinse the beans very thoroughly to get rid of any traces of baking soda. In a large saucepan, place the beans and add water until completely covered. Bring to a boil, and leave to boil on medium heat uncovered for about an hour or until beans are completely tender and cooked through. If the water starts to dry out, top it up.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, prepare the meat/tomato sauce. In a pressure cooker on medium high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once hot, add the onion, and saute for a couple minutes until starting to soften. Add the meat cubes and continue to stir, until the meat has browned.

  • Step 4

    Add enough water to cover the meat by an inch or so, then add the tomato paste, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, seven spices, turmeric powder, cumin, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

  • Step 5

    Cover pressure cooker, let it come to pressure and once it has, cook for 25-30 minutes, then turn off the heat. When the pressure has released, open the pressure cooker.,* See step 8 for how to make this without a pressure cooker

  • Step 6

    Once the meat has cooked through and beans are seperately cooked through, drain the beans, and add the cooked beans to the meat and tomato stew. Stir to combine thoroughly. Remove from heat.

  • Step 7

    o make the topping, heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the crushed garlic, finely chopped coriander and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until garlic has started to brown and herbs have wilted. Add this garlic coriander mixture to the stew and stir to combine it evenly throughout.

  • Step 8

    You can follow all the steps to make the meat stew, but instead of using a pressure cooker, let the meat come to a boil in the sauce and cook for 45 minutes to an hour until tender and falls apart when you cut it with a fork.

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