My new heart throb in blogs is Georgia About http://georgiaabout.wordpress.com/. It has been a long time since I’ve been introduced to a new (to me) and interesting cuisine. In addition to Georgian recipes, Georgia About showcases South Caucasus Georgia’s rich heritage and culture. I am dazzled and want to go for a visit :) But first I wanted to dabble in Georgian cuisine!
The Georgian bean dish, lobio, sort of reminds me of refried beans, in a non-Mexican way, flavored with onion, garlic, bay leaf (they know what’s good), cilantro, coriander and blue fenugreek. I couldn’t find blue fenugreek but substituted crushed fenugreek grains and instead of using dried kidney beans, I used fresh borlotti beans. For the authentic recipe, go here http://georgiaabout.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/about-food-lobio-georgian-bean-dish/.
Besides being delicious as a hearty main course, these beans would also be great as a hot dip or spread inside flour tortillas to make soft, bean tacos.
Lobio: A Georgian Style Bean Dish
1 lb fresh borlotti beans
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 quarts water
2 onions, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium size bunch of cilantro, chopped
3 large garlic cloves chopped
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Put the beans, salt and bay leaves in a pot with the water , bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour. In the meantime, fry the onions in the olive oil and set aside.
Put the cilantro, garlic, coriander, fenugreek, salt and pepper in a food processor and process into a paste. Remove and set aside.
Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, then return to the pot. Coarsely mash the beans with a hand, potato masher, add the fried onions, cilantro paste and reserved cooking liquid, stirring to blend well.
Mound the beans into one baking pan or a variety of ramekins and bake for about 25 minutes in a 375 F oven. Serve with pita bread/tortillas/Navajo bread or Georgian cornbread