The more I study Lebanese cuisine (and practice it) , the more I realize that, by and large, it is a really simple and straighforward type of cuisine.
Take this bean dish: Just beans, tomatoes and onions stewed for a while until thickened and that’s it! No mystery there.
INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings
- 1 lb beans, preferably red beans
- 1 lb onions, chopped
- 3 Tbsp oil
- 1 lb tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small can tomato paste or 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- Dash of cinnamon
- Dash of black or white pepper
- 2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
- 1 Tbsp garlic paste (4 cloves mashed with salt in a mortar)
1. Soak the beans overnight in plenty of tap water; the next day, drain the water and transfer the beans to a soup pot; add 6 cups of water and bring to a simmer; cook the beans for 30 minutes.
2. Pour the oil in another pot over medium heat; fry the onions till golden, about 15 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste; fry the mixture for 10 minutes then transfer the beans with their water and sprinkle the spices and pomegranate molasses (if using) onto the pot; cover and simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature with some bread if desired.
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