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Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew)

This delicious Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew) is one of our favourite comfort foods. I used to prepare this stew for my children when I first introduced them to solid food and it remains to be amongst their favourite. This is a simple one-pot recipe where all the ingredients are combined in a pot and left to cook on low heat so that all the flavours can beautifully merge. I usually double the quantity and freeze the extra batch as a backup meal for those days that I don’t have time to cook. While my stew is cooking away, I usually prepare a pot of Calrose rice with vermicelli noodles on the side.

basilla on a pot

Basic ingredients for Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew)

Lamb Meat: Lamb is a type of red meat that is commonly used in many cuisines around the world. It has a distinctive, rich flavor and is often used in stews, roasts, and kebabs. It is a good source of protein, iron, and B vitamins.

Carrots: Carrots are root vegetables that are sweet, crunchy, and versatile. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and can be eaten raw, cooked, or roasted. They are commonly used in soups, stews, and as a side dish.

Potatoes: Potatoes are a staple food in many cuisines and are versatile, delicious, and filling. They can be boiled, mashed, fried, or roasted and are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber.

Arabic Spice: Arabic spice is a blend of spices that are commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It usually contains a combination of warm spices such as cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and allspice, and can vary in flavor and heat level depending on the recipe.

Tomato Puree: Tomato puree is a thick, smooth sauce made from cooked and strained tomatoes. It is used as a base in many sauces, soups, and stews, and can also be used as a condiment. It is a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

alternative ingredients

You may also experiment with a number of other substitutes for the ingredients in the Basilla recipe, some of which include the following:

Lamb: If you don’t have lamb, you can substitute it with beef.

Potatoes: If you don’t have potatoes, you can substitute them with other starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, or winter squash.

Arabic Spice: If you don’t have Arabic spice, you can substitute it with other spice blends such as Garam Masala, Ras el Hanout, Baharat, or Allspice.

Tomato Puree: If you don’t have tomato puree, you can substitute it with crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste. To use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, simply simmer until thickened. To use tomato paste, mix it with water until it reaches a sauce-like consistency.

Serving Tips for Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew)

  • Accompaniments: Serve the dish with vermicelli rice on the side, and some Arabic bread, or simply enjoy it on its own with a hearty salad.
  • Presentation: Serve the dish on a large serving platter or individual bowls

Storage tips

Refrigeration: Store the dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing: You can also freeze the dish for up to 3 months. Let it cool completely before dividing it into portions and storing it in freezer-safe containers.

Reheating: When reheating the dish, make sure to use a microwave-safe or oven-safe dish and heat it until it is hot and steaming. You may also need to add a splash of water or broth to help the rice from drying out. Avoid over-storing: Rice dishes can dry out or become mushy when stored for too long, so it’s best to eat the dish within a few days of making it.

Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew) (Full Video)

Basilla (Pea and Lamb Stew)

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 500 g low-fat lamb cubes, cut into small pieces
  • 3 pcs small onions, chopped into small cubes
  • 3 cup frozen peas
  • 2 pcs medium-sized carrots, peeled and chopped intosmall cubes
  • 1 pcs bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 500 ml tomato puree
  • 2-3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


  • In a medium sized pot sauté onions with vegetable oil on high heat until translucent.
  • Add the lamb cubes and bay leaf; stir the meat until it has browned. This process should not take more than 5 minutes since your fire should be around medium-high.  Once the lamb has browned, season the meat with salt, pepper, Arabic spice and cinnamon. Add the tomato paste and fry for 5 minutes until it develops a rich colour.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, peas, tomato paste, tomato puree and water, cover the pot and leave to simmer on low heat for 30–45 minutes.
  • Serve with a side of Calrose rice with vermicelli noodles.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @cookingwithzahra on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithzahra so we can see all the deliciousness!

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