Arakas laderos is a Greek, vegan or Lenten dish, with peas, carrots, potatoes and herbs cooked, in a rich olive oil-tomato sauce.
The modern Greek word is arakas αρακάς. Mpizeli in Greek μπιζέλι (or pizeli as it is pronounced in Cyprus), comes from the italian word pisello – in latin pisellum pisum a name which originally was Greek from the ancient Greek pissos – pisson (αρχαία ελληνική πίσος ή πίσον (αντιδάνειο) and borrowed back from us.
The word arakas is also from the ancient word “arakos – άρακος) probably from an ancient word of Asian origin.
Ladera, meaning “oily”, are our Greek vegan or vegetarian dishes and can be anything with seasonal vegetables, cooked with olive oil, because olive oil is their main condiment.
One of the Greek ladera I love very much is arakas. Peas and carrots is one of the Greek staple foods I love very much which only needs a few ingredients but as this is a versatile dish, each time I make it I find myself adding different ingredients.
Although during the summer I use fresh peas, I cook it year round using frozen peas, which is equally good and nutritious and much more easier 🙂
Although olive oil is very healthy, it is high in calories, so I have learned to reduce the amount of olive oil considerably, making the dishes lighter and healthier.
I’ve seen many recipes using sugar in recipes with tomato sauces but I never or rarely use sugar in sauces and if it is needed I prefer to use honey instead.
This dish will be so sweet from the carrots that people eating it may think that you may have added sugar.
This is a very versatile dish and each time I make this dish I find myself adding different herbs and vegetables, such as potatoes, garlic, spring onions, or fennel fronds, depending on what I have on hand.
- 800 grams fresh peas or 500 grams frozen peas
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium potato, cut in small cubes (optional)
- 3 - 4 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
- 4 ripe tomatoes or 500 grams tomato passata
- 2 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup of parsley, finely chopped
- ¼ cup dill, finely chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a pot and sauté the onion until translucent and soft.
- Add the garlic and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant.
- Add the fresh or frozen peas (no need to thaw) and stir for 2 minutes.
- Add carrots (and potato if added) and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add tomato purée and water, reduce heat and simmer until cooked, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary, especially if adding the potato.
- Five minutes before the end add the parsley and dill and mix.
- Serve with Greek feta which is a must for all “ladera” dishes and crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce.
For all stews I use fresh ripe tomatoes during the summer but during the winter I use tomato passata and sometimes I add some tomato paste, as well. Both are equally good.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 222Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 0mgSodium 145mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 8gSugar 10gProtein 7g
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!