This dish can be made either with fava beans or black-eyed peas. It is vegan, comforting, delicious, healthy, economical, in short, perfect. We made it last week, adding a squeeze of Seville orange juice (bousfeyr) at the end, instead of the usual lemon (because these oranges are sweet and sour and their season is very short).
This is a dish that my friend Rima, a caterer @Rim-Ram Gourmet (and the mother of Matteo el-Khodr, the Arab world’s one and only falsetto opera singer) makes to perfection. It is reputed to be a typical Beiruti dish from the Sunni community. This post is inspired by her recipe.
INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings
- 2 cans of black-eyed peas or fava or dried peas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed and then cooked in plenty of water for one hour or until tender
- 3 large onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil (more if needed)
- 2 tablespoons garlic paste (mash the garlic cloves in a mortar or a mini-processor)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves chopped fine
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard, stalks removed (cut into small sticks) and leaves shredded fine
- salt, black pepper or allspice, to taste
- juice of a lemon or Seville orange (substitute 1 or 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses)
- 1 bunch of radishes for garnish
- Extra lemons or orange quarters if needed
1. Heat the oil in a pot and fry the onions till golden; add the garlic and cilantro and fry a few seconds till wilted and fragrant. While frying the onions, boil the stalks (cut into small half-inch sticks) till tender. Drain and fry the stalks for 5 minutes with the onion mixture, then add the Swiss Chard and fry till wilted. Add the peas and about 2 cups of their liquid and simmer for 20 minutes or so; season and pour the citrus juice the last few minutes of cooking. Serve warm or at room temperature with radishes and extra lemon or orange quarters.
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