Friday, May 18, 2012

food invention: Beans, with fenugreek and onions

I love red beans, and usually have them in a stew of greens that Persians eat over rice called Ghormeh Sabzi.

But the stew takes a long time and tonight I realized I could make a healthier version _ vegan and to be eaten alone, without rice. So here's this evening's cooking invention, which I will certainly make many more times. 

Persian-inspired beans, with fenugreek and onions.

1 yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp limoo amani, crushed (a Persian dried lime found in Middle Eastern groceries. You can substitute with juice of 1 lime)
1/2 cup fenugreek leaves, steeped in hot water for 5 minutes and drained (I buy these in bulk at the Indian grocer)
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup cooked yellow split peas
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1. Brown onions in olive oil. Salt generously.
2. Add garlic, coriander, cumin, limoo amani, fenugreek. Cook and stir about 5 minutes, until fenugreek is lightly browned and spices are fragrant.
3. Add 1 cup water to deglaze pot. Bring to boil. Add split peas and kidney beans. Add juice of one lemon. Add water to cover beans
4. Simmer 30 minutes. Mush some of the beans as you occasionally stir if the sauce needs to thicken.
5. Garnish. This would be delicious topped with garlic chips or a little garlic-infused olive oil.  Other possible garnishes: carmelized onions, lemon juice, chopped parsley, olive oil, parmesan... all of the above if you're making a meal of it.


  1. What is limoo amani? And where can you get it?

  2. ah, good question! Limoo amani is a dried lime that literally means "Lime from Amman" -- though I don't know if that's actually where they come from. And I'm not entirely sure that it doesn't mean "Lime from Oman," on second thought. They can be purchased whole, crushed into bits or ground into a powder at most Persian or middle eastern stores. Too much of it and your food will go bitter, but a little bit really adds a depth to dishes. When I'm out of it, I substitute extra lemon juice and zest, or lime juice and zest and it is also tasty. :)

    1. I wish I had known about this when I was in Jordan last year -- I would've looked for it!

    2. i actually asked my mom after this comment thread and she says the name is just a name, they're not actually from Jordan. I'll send you some! Along with two cards that I wrote but forgot to send you... ugh.

  3. oh, also, i think maybe fenugreek is really good for your tummy. i ate a mess of these beans last night and had no... typical stinky bean side effects! it felt miraculous.

  4. Wonderful! I used the small white beans I had soaking today, instead of peas and red beans. This is a winner.