Bessela (Bazella) We Gazar is an economic, yet mouthwatering and easy Egyptian stew of carrots, peas, and beef chuck. It is a healthy dish, that you can resort to as an easy weekend dinner.
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What Is Bessela We Gazar
Bessala (Bazella) We Gazar is a pretty popular, easy and nutritious carrot- peas-beef stew among Egyptian households.
It is basically made of frozen peas, carrots, and beef chuck. Egyptian homecooks resort to this dish on busy days as it demands little active cooking time.
This dish feeds a crowd on a whim. It is best made the day before as the flavors meld together nicely.
How To Make Bessela We Gazar
This is a straight forward dish to make and doesn’t require any off the charts culinary skills. That said, the little success secrets below will improve its texture and flavor a big deal.
Start with browning the beef chuck, preferably in hot oil, add the chopped onions and garlic, stir until they wilt and become fragrant.
Add the water and the spices, let the beef cubes simmer for at least 90 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and is fork tender. Add the peas, carrots, tomato juice, and tomato paste then let the stew simmer for 20-25 minutes on low heat.
Remove the spices infuser and serve the stew hot with vermicelli rice.
Tips & Success Secrets
The Right Meat Cut
Go for beef chuck for stews in general and this stew of Bessela We Gazar (peas and carrots in particular). Beef chuck is a tough and economic piece of meat that can stand the test of the long stew simmering time. It ends up releasing its flavors in the stew without melting or disappearing. Make sure to cut it up in cubes of 1/2 an inch so it cooks faster than large chunks.
Browning The Meat First
Browning the beef cubes first in sizzling oil will prevent it from getting chewy or stringy. Additionally, the brown bites released from the meat will melt into the stew creating a wonderful depth of flavor.
Using frozen peas instead of fresh ones will not affect the taste, yet it will save you at least 40 minutes.
A cooked-to-perfection Middle eastern stew is always infused with a bouquet of spices such as bay leaves, cardamom, and mastic. However, you can customize your spice bouquet according to your preference.
Add the bay leaves, cardamom, and mastics to an infuser bag so it is easy to remove the spices once the stew is cooked and ready to serve.
and secure it with a cooking twine.
To make a succulent tomato sauce, fresh tomato juice would be ideal, otherwise use a good quality store-bought tomato sauce, in addition to a spoonful of tomato paste for depth of flavor.
Make Ahead Dish
What To Serve With Bessela We Gazar
Serve it with vermicelli rice or hot Egyptian bread (Aish baladi).
This dish is highly nutritious thanks to its rich ingredients:
The fiber in carrots can help keep blood sugar levels under control. They’re loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, which there’s evidence to suggest can lower your diabetes risk. Also, since carrots have calcium and vitamin K they can help with strengthening your bones.
Peas are a good source of vitamins C and E, zinc, and other antioxidants that strengthen our immune system. It also contains other nutrients, such as vitamins A and B that help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
Beef is naturally rich in protein, which helps muscle growth and supports muscle mass. It also provides iron and vitamins which help reduce fatigue.
This dish can be stored in an airtight container up to 4 days in the fridge.
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Bessela We Gazar (Egyptian Stew Of Peas-Carrots-Beef)
- 1 pound (approx. 500 grams) beef chuck, trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon meat spices (boharat)
- 1 medium onion, finally chopped
- 2 garlic gloves, minced
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 mastic beads
- 8- 10 cups hot water
- 1 tablespoon, fresh Italian basil, julienned (optional)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 pound frozen peas (approximately 500 grams)
- I cup of canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the Meat: Add the canola oil to a hot dutch oven, once it sizzles add the cubed meat and brown it on all sides. Add the chopped onion, stir until it wilts and then add the garlic and stir again until it becomes fragrant. Add the hot water and the spices (preferably in an infuser bag) see notes. Bring everything to a vigorous boil for 5 minutes and then lower the heat to low and let the meat simmer for 90 minutes, or until it’s cooked through and becomes soft. See notes.
- Assemble the Stew: Add the frozen peas, carrots, and the basil, stir well then cover the pot and let it cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the carrots and the peas are both soft and the beef is fork tender.
- Serve: the stew with vermicelli rice or hot Egyptian bread (Aish Baladi).
- Store: Let the stew come to room temperature and then store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.
- Cook the meat a day in advance in the slow cooker to break down the work load if you will.
- Carrots require longer time than the peas, if you prefer the peas to stay firm, then add the carrots 15 minutes earlier than the peas.