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Broad Bean Raita

29 Jun
Shelled broad beans fried with coconut and spices in a yogurt sauce makes a wonderful fresh, cooling dish to serve as a side with other dishes.

  • vegetable oil
  • large colander full of broad beans
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 6-8 dried curry leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 dried hot red chillis
  • 1-2 tbsp grated coconut
  • pinch of turmeric
  • fresh coriander leaf
Shell the broad beans. Drizzle a little vegetable oil in the bottom of a wok or wide frying pan over a high heat and throw in the spices as soon as they begin to pop throw in the coconut keep an eye on it and stir until the coconut smells nutty and starts to turn golden. Add the beans, turmeric, salt and a little sprinkle of water to cool the pan. Stir and fry until the beans turn a bright green and are tender add a little water to stop it catching if necessary. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the yogurt and a little chopped coriander leaf. Serve at warm, at room temperature or cold
Cook’s Tip you can use desiccated coconut for this dish but it does taste better with freshly grated coconut.
Recipe Source This dish was inspired by Barbatti Nariyal Sabji in The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi a green bean dish with dals, coconut and yogurt.

Broad Beans & Ham (Ronda)

30 May

This is one of those dishes I could eat everyday. This is my version of the tapas dish habas con jamon I ate in Ronda, Andalusia, served everywhere, much to my delight. In spring when the broad beans are in season this is a great recipe, very simple, tasty and versatile. It can be eaten hot or cold as a salad or side dish.
Serves 2 Prep 3 Cooking 10

  • 250g shelled fresh broad beans
  • 1 white onions or 2 spring onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • slosh of olive oil
  • cured ham, preferably Spanish Serrano
  • summer savory leaves (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Shell the beans, remove the skins if you really want to, I leave them on, but it does look prettier with the grey skins removed to reveal the bright green beans. Peel and slice the onions, young green onions in spring. Peel and slice the garlic and chop the ham into small matchsticks. Heat a large pan, add the oil and when hot add the onions and garlic. Saute until soft then add the ham, fry for a few minutes before adding the beans. Season with salt, pepper and chopped savory. Cover and cook until the beans are tender, 5 minutes or so. Serve with fresh bread or as part of a tapas meal.

Cook’s TIP You can use frozen broad beans which are a good substitute to make this dish at any time of year. You can use any ham, in Spain the ham used is serrano, a salt cured raw ham but I have had good results using the French jambon cru, pancetta and even sausage, so long as it has a strong flavour is salty and uncooked it should turn out fine.

Gardener’s Note Summer savory is a peppery pungent herb used in the preparation of salami and sausages, you don’t need much of it i only grow a few potfuls each year. Sow in pots undercover in February or in March-April. It is a natural companion for beans as it improves the flavour of all beans and pulses and aids digestion.

Broad Beans with Fennel

12 May

Fennel tops are often thrown away, which is such a waste of a wonderful vegetable, or pot-herb. Looking for ways to use them I found that the lovely aniseed flavours of fennel work really well with broad beans. Here are two variations of broad beans stewed in olive oil with shredded fennel tops. You can serve this vegetable dish as a side, as one of a group of small mezze or tapas, on rice or on a bed of leafy salad.

Serves 2 Prep / cook 10-15 minutes

  • Broad Beans (shelled)
  • handful fennel ferns (or other herbs such as dill, parsley, or tarragon)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt & cracked black pepper
  • lemon juice

Put a wide pan on the hob to heat up and add a thick layer of olive oil. Bash up the garlic and throw it in along with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper. After a minute or less throw in the beans and cook gently until the beans are soft. Meanwhile wash and finely chop the fennel ferns and throw these into the pan once the beans are ready. Stir once or twice to wilt the fennel then serve with a little squeeze of lemon juice.

For a delicious creamy version stir in some crème fraîche at the last minute, stir to warm through and serve.
originally posted 12/5/2008

Broad Bean Falafel (Egyptian)

11 May

Falafel or dried bean rissoles are middle eastern in origin, most commonly made with chick peas or dried broad beans. My version is made with broad beans and loads of fresh green herbs. I like to serve them as a light meal with a green salad or salsa and bowl of dipping sauce.

Serves 4-6 Prep 60 min Cook 20 min

  • 300g dried broad beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 large handfuls flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large handful coriander
  • 1 handful chives
  • 8-10 cloves garlic crushed
  •  1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp roasted freshly ground cumin
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
  • 3 tablespoons water (if necessary)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Put the dried broad beans in a large bowl cover with water and leave overnight to soak. Drain and rinse the broad beans and remove the skins, this is a tricky time consuming business. At this point the raw beans can be frozen. I often prepare a larger quantity and freeze in 500g batches, as they are handy to have in the freezer ready to make this dish at short notice.

Put the beans, onion, garlic, baking powder, salt and pepper, cumin and chilli in a food processor. Pulse to form a coarse paste. Add the fresh herbs, you can experiment with different herbs such as tarragon, lovage, fennel whatever green herbs you have growing in the garden, and pulse until blended. Add a little water if necessary and process until the mixture has a fairly smooth texture and should be bright green. I like my falafel moist inside and make my paste on the wet side.

Heat 3-6 inches of oil in a saucepan or fryer until it is hot. Scoop a tablespoon of the falafel mixture and with a second tablespoon press and form the shape of the two spoons together slip the falafel off the spoon into the hot oil and fry in small batches of 4-6 at a time depending on the size of the pan until browned and crisp, about 2-5 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper. They are ready to serve immediately

Makes about 2 dozen Falafel

Source: Adapted from Claudia Roden’s Falafel in Mediterranean Cookery

Suggested Dipping Sauces

* Lemon Dip: Lemon juice, salt & pepper.
* Tzajiki: Grated cucumber, yogurt, garlic and mint
* Tomato Salsa: Tomato, onion, parsley and sumac

Cook’s Tip dried broad beans already skinned can be bought in some specialist delis.

This recipe was originally posted on www.masdudiable.comon 11/5/2006.