In typical India, most cooking is accompanied by spices and other preserving agents and yet, you will almost never find families cherish a dish for days on end. Naturally then, cold food is another non-existent trend. Everything is prepared to be eaten hot and fresh, unless one counts pickles and chutneys, both of which are extensively consumed in almost all of the regions. In Turkey, the boundaries between ‘pickle’ and ‘food’ blur a little, a lot of things including veggies and pinto beans are enjoyed cold, and in olive oil. As most busy working professionals will have you know, we need that here as well.
So when Expedia’s World on a Plate Challenge came up, it only made sense to take up a real challenge that’ll help change trends, in this case eating beans cold, and for breakfast. You see, the glorious ‘rajma’ or ‘kidney bean’ is a north Indian kitchen staple, but one that you will never see being eaten for breakfast, let alone with bread. Ever.
But seeing as the Turkish barbunya is one delightful take on baked beans, we decided to do our zeytinyağlı barbunya, but with rajma. Eat it on toast/ with sausage/ topped with a fried egg, or not. But eat it. It’s super simple and will keep for about 4-5 days and we plan to make it a permanent fixture in our refrigerator.
– 250 grams kidney beans
– 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
– 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
– 1 or 2 large cloves garlic
– 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
– 1 small carrot, peeled and diced into small cubes
– 1 small bunch coriander, chopped
– 1-2 medium green chilies (optional)
– ½ tsp. black pepper
– ½ tsp. cumin
– 1 tsp. sugar
– Salt (to taste)
– Extra EVOO for drizzling
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1)In this recipe, we used dried beans. One has to soak them in water overnight, then rinse well. And while straining, make sure any of them mischievous beans don’t escape (as they often do, in the case of colander-less home cooks). Then cook beans in a pressure cooker, with a cup of water, a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt on medium heat for 15 minutes (or until they’re tender).
2)Have your chopped party ready in the meantime – onions, garlic, tomatoes, coriander and/or chilies. A lot of folks might be la-di-da about technique, but you can fry them all at once, really.
3)Fry in a deep-bottomed (and possibly non-stick) pan using a dash of olive oil at medium-heat.
4)Once the tomatoes are soft and the onion, semi-caramelized, add the spices and seasoning, namely, salt, sugar, pepper and cumin.
5)Tip in cooked beans.
6)Add diced carrot next as it will cook in the extra water from the beans, and cover with lid.
7)Once the carrots have softened – voila! Nutritious breakfast ready!
And since we’re emphasizing on it’s nutritious nature, it would be good if you had some multi-grain bread on hand. Then it’s just popping in the oven/ toaster, smearing the beans on toast and topping with EVOO and Tabasco, if you appreciate, both tartness and heat.