Egyptian Pea Stew (Basilla wa Roz)

5 from 1 vote

Egyptian pea stew is a simple yet sensational combination of everyday ingredients. You can make this simple yet tasty vegan recipe in 30 minutes or less using ingredients already in your pantry!

close up of Egyptian pea stew in a bowl with rice and vermicelli

When it comes to crafting timeless recipes, simple, quality ingredients are key. And, this recipe for Egyptian pea stew is a prime example! 

Popular throughout the Middle East, you will find a host of different regional spellings for Egyptian pea stew. They include but are not limited to: bisilla, basilla, bazella, basilla wa roz (peas and rice), and bisala wa gazar (peas and carrots).

This traditional Middle Eastern dish teams the unassuming pea with sauteed onion, garlic, and spices that burst with flavor in a thick, savory tomato broth. This vegetarian dish will fill you up without slowing you down!

Recently while traveling through Egypt I had this on several occasions, going back for more at the buffet line on the cruise we were on. I talked with the chef several times and we shared recipes. This is one of those. Enjoy!

For other stews from along the Silk Road, check out my Moroccan Chicken Stew, Spiced Eggplant Stew, or this Lamb Stew (Dal Gosht ).

close up of Egyptian pea stew in a bowl with rice

Share this recipe on Pinterest!

Love this recipe? Share it with the world on Pinterest.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Peas Choose fresh or thawed from frozen peas. Canned peas will turn to mush and should not be used. 
  • Butter and Oil Pairing butter and oil together, we get the best of both worlds. Butter delivers intense flavor while a high-quality vegetable oil increases the smoke point. 
  • Garlic & Onion These MVPs have an earthy sweetness with a zesty, zingy, peppery punch. 
  • Cumin Adds smoky, sultry, and surprisingly bright flavor. 
  • Coriander Jazzes up the dish with lively, citrusy notes. 
  • Tomato Paste A concentrated tomato extravaganza. You get all the goodness the tomato has to offer, from savory umami to tantalizing tang. 
  • Tomato Juice Thins out the stew without watering it down while bringing an extra dose of acidic zing and freshness. 
  • Maggi Seasoning – Delivers a deep, intensely umami flavor to everything it touches. Check the international aisle or shop for it online. Close substitutes include tamari, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Kitchen bouquet.
top down view of Egyptian pea stew ingredients: onion, garlic, peas, spices, tomato paste


1. Saute the Onion. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium heat. Toss in the diced onion and saute for one minute before adding the garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and black pepper. Stir in the spices and saute until the onions turn a light golden brown.

2. Cook the Rice. Get started cooking your Egyptian Rice with Vermicelli or whichever rice recipe you have chosen. Keep the rice separate until time to serve. 

3. Combine Stew Ingredients. Add the tomato paste to the sauteed onions and spices. Cook for one minute, then stir in the tomato juice, water, and peas. 

4. Stir & Simmer. Make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, bring the basila to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes as the sauce reduces and thickens. 

5. Season & Serve. If desired, season with Maggi seasoning or other seasoning to taste. Serve hot over a plate of rice and vermicelli. Enjoy!

close up of a spoonful of Egyptian pea stew over a large pot

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Bazella?

Bazella, the Arabic word for peas, is another term for Egyptian pea stew. In the world of Middle Eastern cuisine, it refers to a particular hearty, tomato-based stew. 

The dish features peas along with sauteed onions, garlic, and a variety of other aromatic herbs and spices. Some versions contain meat, while others — like this Egyptian pea stew recipe — are completely vegan. 

Egyptian Pea Stew Variations

Traditionally, most versions of bisilla wa roz stay pretty close to the source. Peas are always included, along with onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and usually cumin. 

From there, each family recipe might have a slightly different spice blend, with some combination of cumin, coriander, chili pepper, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and black pepper. 

The biggest difference between each bazella recipe is going to be whether or not meat is included. Some recipes include chunks of lamb or beef while just as many versions are vegetarian, like this one. 

If you prefer a meat version, go ahead and incorporate some lamb, beef, or even chicken into the stew. Missing a few of your favorite veggies? Throw in some carrots, celery, kale, or whatever your veggie-loving heart desires.

What Should I Serve With Egyptian Pea Stew?

Bisilla wa Roz translates to “peas with rice” and makes a light yet filling meal all on its own. For dinner, you can enjoy Egyptian pea stew as an entree or as a saucy side dish. Here are a few suggestions for inspiration. 

Serve with Egyptian rice and vermicelli for another grain dish. Some top picks include Saffron Rice, Moroccan Couscous, and this Basmati Rice Pilaf.

Start your meal off with a salad like this Lebanese Fattoush or Chilled Moroccan Carrot Salad

Pair your Egyptian pea stew with veggies like Steamed Carrots with Yogurt Dressing or these Crispy Roasted Potatoes.

Enjoy alongside Khubz (Arabic Pita Bread) and Fatteh (Crispy Pita Hummus and Yogurt)
Add a bit of protein and cook up some Beef and Lamb Koobideh, Kafta (Ground Beef Kabobs), or Lamb Shawarma

a bowl of Egyptian pea stew over rice and vermicelli
Still Hungry?
Subscribe to my Newsletter, follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for all my latest recipes and videos.

Egyptian Pea Stew (Basilla wa Roz)

5 from 1 vote
Egyptian pea stew is a hearty, flavorful dish featuring peas, sautéed onion, garlic, and spices in a thick, savory tomato broth.
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes




  • Heat skillet over medium heat. Heat butter, oil and saute onion for a minute. Add the garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper and saute until onion is a light brown.
  • Now start the rice (Egyptian Rice with Vermicelli).
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add the tomato juice, water peas and stir everything thoroughly. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced and thickened.
  • Season to taste with optional Maggi Seasoning. Serve over rice and vermicelli.


  1. Maggi is one of those seasonings like soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce that adds a bit of umami flavor to whatever is is used on. Iodized Salt, Wheat Flour, Natural Dried Vegetables (Onion, Tomato, Garlic), Sugar, Corn Seasoning (Cornstarch,Salt), Herbs and Spices, (Turmeric, Cumin, Cardamom Powder, Cinnamon, Chili Powder, Ground Black Pepper, Parsley, Ground Bay Leaf, Clove Powder), Chicken Fat, Natural Identical Lime Flavor are known ingredients. You can substitute it with Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Kitchen Bouquet, or Tamari Sauce if you can’t find, or order it online.


Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 628mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1381IU | Vitamin C: 58mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: side dishes
Cuisine: Egyptian
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): Egyptian pea stew Basilla wa Roz


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

Free Bonus
Kevin's Guide to Amazing International Cooking
My secrets to authentic & delicious international recipes

Explore More

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

1 Comment