22 March 2011

Butter beans from Scotland

One of the goals of the week end in Edinburgh was to get my hands on some stuff that I either can't find or aren't that great tasting in Slovakia. My friend took me to the local organic store, and I returned with curry leaves, massala, shortbread cookies (hey, when in Scotland...), some lentils, and those huge, lovely butter beans (half a kilo).

As soon as we got back to the landlocked country, I soaked half of them in anticipation of today's lunch.

Google gave me this recipe option: Butter Beans in Sesame (incidently, submitted by someone in Glasgow).

This is how I adapted it:


half a Tblspoon olive oil
quarter teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 and a half Tblspoon sesame seeds
one small onion, chopped into small pieces (not just strands)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of Hungarian spicy paprika
half a teaspoon of salt
about a cup of cooked butter beans
2 cups of chopped fresh spinach

Popped the cumin seeds in the olive oil on medium-low heat in a non-stick pan (the only pan I have). Added the onion for about 5 minutes. Added the ground cumin, mixed and a minute later added the sesame seeds. 3 minutes later added the turmeric, paprika and salt. Mixed, waited a minute, and added the butter beans, mixing well so that the beans were covered in the spices and sesame seeds, but without turning them into a mush. Then I folded in the spinach (it was left over in the fridge, didn't look too good for a salad). Cooked the whole thing for another three minutes, until the spinach was cooked.

Nice mixture of spices. It reminded me of the Greek dish with fava beans in tomato/cinnamon sauce. Basically, if I'd gone ahead with adding the chopped tomato can early on, and added cinnamon,I could have been in for a similar treat. But this was a very nice surprise find, and the mild butter beans are a very good template on which to lather spices. I recommend the butter beans, cooked with a piece of kombu and a clove of garlic, even though it takes an hour and a half on the stove (I really need to get myself a pressure cooker...).

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