Out of all the Arab recipes I've posted, this one has received the most hype and I'm so happy about it. Bazalla Wa Riz, is a very traditional Levantine dish that is mostly enjoyed in the winter. "Bazella" in Arabic simply translates to peas and "riz" to rice. Then you can add extra ingredients you like to it and make it your own - the beauty of cooking.
It's such a heartwarming and nourishing dinner that it makes you want to curl up under a blanket while eating it! Nonetheless, you can enjoy this Pea & Carrot Stew anytime of the year!
I can't emphasize enough how simple this recipe is and if you're working with a tight budget, this meal is where it's at. All you need is a bag of frozen peas, carrots, rice, cilantro, red onion, tomato paste, and chicken breast.
Substitutions are also very simple: This recipe is dairy free and gluten free. But to my vegans, feel free to opt out of the chicken if you'd like! And to my meat eaters, this recipe can also be made with beef stew. You can add it in with the tomato paste and allow it to cook. All in all, this recipe is perfect for all of my audience.
Did I mention this is a perfectly meal-preppable dinner as well? It lasts up to at least 5 days in the fridge so you can enjoy it all week long!
You can also freeze this dish. Let the dish to completely cool then pour it into a freezer safe container. You can freeze it up to 3 months and enjoy it when you want to. Let it defrost in the fridge then cook it in a pot again to warm up! How cool, right? Let's get to the recipe!
Prep time: 15 minutes (if your chicken isn't prepared, 45 minutes to boil)
Total time: 40 minutes
This recipe is dairy free and gluten free.
1. 1 12oz frozen bag of peas
2. 3 carrots, washed, peeled, & chopped medium
3. ½ red onion, finely diced
4. 2 TBSPs tomato paste
5. 1 TBSP salt
6. 1 cup of rice
7. Extra virgin olive oil
8. 4 cloves of garlic, mashed
9. ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
10. 2 chicken breasts, boiled and shredded
- Simply boil a large pot of water and add in the chicken breasts. Allow them to cook until they've soften. Add in lemon slices and bay leaves to add aroma. Remove excess chicken grease while it cooks.
11. 5 cups of boiling water
12. ¼ TSP saffron threads
1. First, let's grab a saucepan and cook 1 cup of basmati rice. First grab a small bowl and add the saffron in. Pour 1/4 cup of hot water into the bowl. Let the saffron soak for 5 minutes. This will open up the flavor of the spice.
2. As you're waiting for the saffron to soak, grab that saucepan and add in 1 ½ TBSPs of olive oil and the rice. Then, [our the yellow saffron liquid across the top of the rice.
3. Then pour in the boiling water until the water is 1 inch above the rice. Salt and cover until the rice soaks up the water completely. Leave on the side for later use.
4. In another large pot, add in a generous amount of olive oil on high heat.
5. Add in the garlic, cilantro, onion, and tomato paste. Stir them well and allow them to simmer for 5 minutes on medium-high heat now.
6. Add in the bag of peas and the chopped carrots. Stir.
7. Pour in boiling water into the pot and fill it ¾ of the way.
8. Stir well and turn the heat down to medium and cover the pot but not all the way.
9. Allow the veggies to cook for about 15 minutes and add in the shredded chicken.
10. Allow them to cook for another 10-15 minutes or until the veggies have soften and fully cooked. You should also have a very tomato-y broth by now.
11. Taste for salt. Add if necessary.
12. Turn the heat off under the veggies and chicken and let's put this together.
13. Grab a serving bowl of choice and add in ½ cup of rice. Pour in your desired amount of veggie & chicken stew into the bowl of rice. Enjoy!