Fasoulia (Middle-Eastern Spiced Kidney Beans)

9 Apr


Fasoulia is simply Arabic for beans. Many different dishes go by this name, sometimes there’s meat included, sometimes a splash of pomegranate molasses. But the base of beans and tomatoes with Middle-Eastern spices stays consistent. I used kidney beans here, but other beans (including green beans) would also work, and my dad says black-eyed peas are what’s usually used in Lebanon. Traditionally, this dish would be cooked with baharat, a Middle-Eastern spice mix, but I didn’t feel up to making a new spice mix when cooking this, so after looking at the ingredients typically included in baharat (paprika, black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom) settled on using a mixture of curry powder and paprika to come close to the same flavor. This combination worked very well, although if you have baharat, that would certainly be best.

Fasoulia is usually served with breakfast, and I found it tasted amazing topped with a fried egg (or mixed with scrambled eggs) and sprinkled with a little zaatar. But this would also work by itself as a stew for a hearty lunch or dinner. I love how perfectly simple this recipe is while still managing to pack a lot of flavor; it’s really a great reminder how important spices are to a dish, so now is a good time to make sure you’re using fresh spices (ground spices typically don’t stay good for much longer than six months, and you can easily gauge how much flavor is left in your spices by taking a smell – you want a fairly strong aroma).

Fasoulia (Middle-Eastern Spiced Kidney Beans) (adapted from All Recipes)
Yield: 6 – 8 servings


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder*
  • 1 Tbsp paprika*
  • 2 large (28 – 32 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed**
  • 1 large (28 – 32 ounce) can diced tomatoes***
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

*Traditionally, a spice mix called baharat would be used here, so if you happen to have some in your possession, feel free to substitute that for the curry powder and paprika.
**Other beans, such as black-eyed peas, chickpeas, or cannellini beans, would also work well here.
***Feel free to use crushed or whole tomatoes instead, but if using whole ones, you might want to give them a quick chop.


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat, then sautee 1 onion, sliced until translucent and starting to brown, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Add 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 jalapeno pepper, minced, 1 Tbsp curry powder, and 1 Tbsp paprika, and sautee until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Add 2 large (28 – 32 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed, 1 large (28 – 32 ounce) can diced tomatoes, and 1/2 cup water. Stir to combine, and simmer until the sauce has thickened and the beans have softened slightly.
  4. Add more water to adjust consistency, if needed, then add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve topped with eggs and a sprinkle of zaatar.

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