Once you try zesty, saucy Moroccan Stewed White Beans (loubia), you’ll see why this humble dish is a comfort food favorite for so many Moroccans. White beans are soaked overnight then stewed with fresh tomatoes, ginger, paprika, and cumin. Throw in lots of garlic and chopped herbs (and perhaps an optional chili pepper or two), and you have the makings of an easy yet memorable dish.
Although the stewed white beans shown in the photo were prepared as a vegetarian dish, it’s just as common to include beef, lamb, dried meat (gueddid) or preserved meat confit (khlii) for extra protein and hearty, traditional flavor.
Moroccan loubia may be served as a side or main dish. Eat with a spoon or enjoy the beans in typical Moroccan fashion—by dipping in with crusty bread such as traditional Moroccan khobz.
Moroccan Loubia Recipe - Stewed White Beans
Remember to soak the beans overnight, or use a quick soak method before proceeding. Allow double the cooking time if using a conventional pot rather than a pressure cooker.
- 1 lb. beef or lamb, on the bone; or [adjustable]1[/adjustable] cup dried meat (optional)
- 1 lb. dry white haricot (navy) or Cannellini beans, soaked overnight then drained
- 3 ripe tomatoes, grated
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or fresh chili peppers, to taste (optional)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Optional Step If Using Fresh Meat
- If preparing the white beans with lamb or beef, start by browning the meat in the olive oil over medium heat. (Dried or preserved meat needs no browning.) Then proceed with one of the cooking methods below.
Pressure Cooker Method
- Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker and stir to combine.
- Add 2 quarts (about 2 liters) of water and bring the liquids to a boil over high heat.
- Cover, bring to pressure, then reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking with pressure for 40 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
- If the beans are still fully submerged in sauce, reduce the liquids by simmering uncovered until the sauce is thick and not watery, but still quite ample.
- Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve warm.
Conventional Pot Method
- Mix all ingredients in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add 2 quarts of water (about 2 liters) and bring to a rapid simmer.
- Cover and continue simmering the beans over medium heat for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans are cooked to desired tenderness and the sauce is thick and no longer watery.
- During cooking, stir occasionally and add a little water if the liquids reduce before the beans have fully cooked.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve warm.
- Turmeric is not a traditional ingredient in Moroccan stewed white beans, but I like to add it for color as well as for the health benefits.
- Serve with a spoon or eat by hand by scooping up beans and sauce with crusty bread.
- Refrigerate leftovers once the beans have cooled completely.
- Reheat leftover beans gently over medium-low to medium heat, adding a little water if necessary.