This is a classic Lebanese recipe. It is a hearty, spiced stew that is easy to prepare, and you simply cannot enjoy it without the revered rice pilaf with vermicelli.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (777 votes)


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400 g beef or lamb mince
  • 2 tsp baharat spice mix (see below)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 150 g carrots, cut into ½ cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
  • 1½ cups frozen peas
  • Greek yoghurt, to serve


  • Rice
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup broken vermicelli pasta
  • 1 litre (4 cups) boiling water
  • 2 cups medium grain rice, washed and      drained
  • 2 tsp salt


  • Baharat
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Combine all baharat ingredients together.

Heat the oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 8–10 minutes until starting to turn golden.  Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the mince and cook, breaking up lumps with the back of a spoon, for 4–5 minutes until browned. Add the 2 tsp baharat and 1 tsp salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrot and tomato paste, stir to combine then add the remaining 1 tsp salt and the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 4–5 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly. Stir through the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Season to taste.

Meanwhile, to make the rice, heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the vermicelli and fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring, until golden.

Immediately add the water, rice, and salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 12–14 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice and pasta are tender.

Serve the stew and rice together with yoghurt on the side.


Photography by Alan Benson