North African Split Pea Stew (Bissara)

This split pea stew with chiles, paprika and cumin tastes and smells much better than it looks

This mildly spicy split pea stew tastes and smells much better than it looks

I found a recipe online for bissara, a thick stew made with split peas, chile pepper, cumin and paprika.

With all the chilly weather lately, I have been craving something comforting and hearty. This fit the bill perfectly.

Split peas provide stick-to-your-rib goodness, and the spices and chile were a nice alternative to the split pea soup I normally eat. I’m still not sure whether I will increase the spices in the future, but I will be sure to make faux injera to accompany it. The chewy texture and tang of my version of an African flatbread went perfectly with the mush of this fragrant and slightly spicy stew.

North African Split Pea Stew (Bissara)

3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1-1/4 tsp salt
6 cups water
3 cups split peas
1/4 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot, saute garlic, jalapeno, paprika and cumin 1-2 minutes, stirring often.

Add remaining ingredients. Cover, simmer one hour, or until peas are soft, stirring occasionally so the bottom does not scorch. You may need to add more water towards the end of the cooking time.

Serve with

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