Community Kitchens (CK)

Aarsal Women’s Coop

Aarsal Women’s Coop

Arsal is located in the Bekaa valley, 35 kilometers away from Baalbeck. Matbakh Sahha kitchen in Arsal is located in the Rural Development Community Center . The team of this kitchen is formed of four girls from Arsal Village. The kitchen team has prior experience with Conserwa Chtoura and other industries in the area, and has attended several workshop held by different organizations and NGOs. In addition to their knowledge of the wild edible plants, the team members are specialized in organic fruits recipes i.e. dried cherry and apricot, jams etc.

Halima from Aarsal, preparing saj pastries during a catering event
Halima from Aarsal, preparing saj pastries during a catering event

Yakhne helwe (potato and chickpea stew)

Potato and chickpea stew
Potato and chickpea stew

This recipe is considered one of the 2 main dishes that were traditionally served during wedding ceremonies in Northern Bekaa, especially in the village of Aarsal where chickpeas are one of the major cultivated field crops. The other two recipes are “Shekriyye” or “Laban emmo w rez” and “Fasolia w rez” or bean stew. This “sweet” recipe rich with starch is served with rice.

Total Servings: 5

490 calories / serving

Preparation Time: 1 hour


300g of chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 big onion, cut in julienne

500 g of potato, coarsely diced

500g of lean meat, cubed

2 liters of water

Black pepper and salt to taste


  1. Boil the meat, chickpeas and onion in 1.5 liter of water for 30 minutes
  2. Add the remaining water quantity and the diced potatoes and cook on low fire until the potatoes are done
  3. Add salt and black pepper according to taste
  4. Serve hot with rice on the side
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley leaves