I found this recipe for Bean Stew (Lubiya) in Habeeb Salloum's Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa. I got a copy of the book years ago, leafed through it briefly, and stuck it on the shelf where I am sorry to say it has languished until a few years ago when I took it down and leafed through it so I could mark any recipes that interested me. I believe I tagged three out of the hundreds of recipes offered.
Back on the shelf it went. Until a couple of weeks ago, when I was looking for something different to do with navy beans. I don't know why I decided to look there instead of the books I usually use. Perhaps that is specifically why I did decide to look there, now that I think about it. I was looking for something different.
And I found it with this dish. The flavors are clear and bright, with a flavor profile that is different from the usual bean dishes that I usually make. It made for a refreshing change that spiced up my lunch rotation. I will be making it again.
And once I had the book down off the shelf again, I went through it to see if there were any other recipes that might appeal. I am pleased to report that there are now many tabs sticking up to mark recipes that I plan to try. A win-win situation all around, if you ask me.
A note of interest (possibly only to me): when I did an online search for Lubiya I discovered that it is usually made with black-eyed peas, which a absolutely detest. Had the version in this book called for those instead of white beans, I would never have made it.
Home Cookin Chapter: Beans and Vegetables
BEAN STEW (LUBIYA)Makes 4 servings
1 cup dried navy beans, sorted and rinsed
2tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onions, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 small chili, finely chopped
1 cup stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of saffron
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Place the beans in a pot and cover with water by 2 inches over the beans. Bring the pot to boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender. Check periodically and add water as needed.
While the beans are cooking, heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet and cook the onion for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cilantro, and chili and saute for another 5 minutes.
Add the onion mixture, tomatoes, and spices to the beans and bring it back to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat.
Can be served hot or cold.
from Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa, by Habeeb Salloum (Interlink Books, 2000)
Exported from Home Cookin 6.46 (www.mountain-software.com)