This healthy vegan bean salad - Balela, inspired by the Middle East is made with different beans, greens, fresh vegetables, olive oil, and Arabic spices.
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I am a big fan of Middle Eastern salads like Tabbouleh and Fattoush. There are many reasons for that like - most of them are vegan, a lot of greens are used in them and generally, a very light dressing is used in these salads which makes them very refreshing.
Today's recipe Balela is another such Middle Eastern salad which is an absolute favorite of everyone in my home. During summers in Dubai, we often eat this bean salad as a full meal.
What is Balela?
Balela is a bean salad, in which different types of beans are mixed with lots of fresh herbs, vegetables, sumac, olive oil, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. You will find it served in almost every Middle Eastern Mezze.
Type of beans to use
You can make this salad with a combination of different beans of your choice. Here, I have used kidney beans and chickpeas, you can use whatever is available with you.
It can also be made with a single type of beans like only chickpeas but I would recommend using at least two different type of beans in it.
Also, I have used canned beans in this recipe but you can use home-cooked beans too, it will taste even better if you do that.
Herbs to use
Generally, fresh parsley and fresh mint leaves are used in this recipe but if you could not find parsley, use coriander leaves. When I visit India, I also make it with fresh coriander and mint leaves as parsley is not easily available there. Though different, it still tastes great.
Easy and tasty recipes for weight loss
Balela is a very good recipe if you are on a weight loss journey. It's filling, and nutritious. If you are looking for more such recipes that you can add to your weight loss meal plan then don't miss to check the following recipes:
Easy vegan/vegetarian Middle Eastern recipes
Though meat is an important part of the Middle Eastern cuisine, there are many great vegetarian and vegan recipes in this cuisine which are very popular. You can check some of them below:
- Red lentil soup (Vegan)
- Falafel (Vegan)
- Hummus (Vegan)
- Muhammara (Vegan)
- Arabic sandwich with chickpeas and eggplant
- Egyptian Farro Salad (Vegetarian)
- Falafel wraps
If you try this recipe, then please don’t miss to rate it in the comments section below.
Step by step photo instructions
Middle Eastern Bean Salad - Balela
- 1 can chickpeas you can also use 2 cups of home cooked chickpeas
- 1 can kidney beans you can also use 2 cups of home-cooked kidney beans
- 1 cucumber Preferably Persian cucumber
- 1 medium sized tomato
- 1 medium sized red onion
- 1 bell pepper any color is fine
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves roughly chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves grated
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt as per taste
- Finely chop all the vegetables.
- In a bowl mix the beans, chopped vegetables, herbs, garlic, spices,and salt.
- Drizzle some olive oil. Mix and enjoy your healthy treat!