Yakhnet Fasoulia w Rizz b Basturma – Haricot Bean Stew with Basturma and Vermicelli Rice

Armenian Basturma on hand made ceramic plate desigend by my friend Sylvia Marciante Green

In my previous entry about my home made sujuk, I discussed the Armenian influence on Lebanese food (read here). Sujuk and basturma are probably the most known of these influences. Basturma is air-dried, spiced beef, with strong flavours of cumin and fenugreek. After the curing and drying process, basturma is served in thin slices, and can be a great sandwich filling along with some cheese. In Lebanon, fried eggs and basturma is a very common dish as is basturma and sujuk pizza.

My recipe using basturma is a slight variant on a popular Lebanese dish, yakhnet fasoulia w rizz. Yaknheh is the Arabic word for stews, fasoulia means beans and rizz (or rozz) means rice. This dish is one of many that mom cooks to perfection, and on a cold winter night, nothing reminds me of her better than eating a plate of yakhneh. The bean stew is usually made with bones and stewing beef or lamb, with cassia bark, garlic, onion and tomato paste. The beans are cooked in the meaty broth where they absorb the flavours, and as they break down and soften, they thicken and enrich the broth.

Yakhnet Fasoulia w Rizz b Basturma – Haricot Bean Stew with Basturma and Vermicelli Rice

With a nice fresh pack of basturma in my fridge (and no bones or beef), I was inspired to incorporate this wonderful ingredient and our bean stew recipe into a Lebanese dish similar to the world famous French cassoulet or a Brazilian feijoada. Both dishes seem somehow related to the Lebanese yakhneh but usually use salted, cured pork. Pork does not showcase strongly in the Lebanese cuisine, and salted pork products do not extend past supermarket ham. Basturma is by far more suitable for keeping the cultural identity of this dish intact, and its spicy flavour lends itself beautifully to the beans. Try it and you will be hooked on making yakhneh.

This pot is awesome. If you don’t have a cast iron pot, get one

Yakhnet Fasoulia w Rizz b Basturma Recipe


Dry haricot beans – 1 kilo (soak the whole kilo overnight in water)
Basturma – 300 g, thinly sliced then chopped in whatever size suits you
Onions – 3 large, diced
Garlic – 4 cloves, diced
Bird’s eye chili – 3 chills, diced (with seeds for that extra kick)
Tomato paste – 3 tbspn
Cassia bark or cinnamon – 1 stick
Chopped parsley or coriander – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste


  1. Cover the bottom of a large, hot casserole with olive oil
  2. Fry garlic, onions and chili gently with some salt until slightly golden
  3. Add basturma and fry for 3 minutes
  4. Add tomato paste, cassia bark or cinnamon and mix
  5. Add beans and mix
  6. Cover with tap water until the water reaches 2 cms above the beans
  7. Crank up the heat and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and bring to a simmer
  8. Taste the liquid and adjust the salt
  9. Cover the pot and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until the beans are soft, and the sauce has thickened
  10. When done, add the chopped herbs and mix
  11. Serve with rice and enjoy


  • Sounds delicious, I think I'm going to have to try this recipe!!! It's making me hungry,while I work!!! Thanks for posting my BLOG!

  • Fouad
    We just had a big lunch but your photos and recipe make us want to eat some more! Great post!

  • Barbara – you are welcome. I enjoy reading your blog a lot and it keeps me in touch with what is happening back home!

    Joumana – Thanks! If you are in Lebanon at the moment, you should have access to great basturma!

  • i LOVE fassoulia w riz 🙂 one of my all-time favorite. P.S. your camera is amazing – I need to get me one of those…….

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