Beans, nuts, vegetables… what could be healthier? In this version of a traditional Armenian dish that’s normally made only with blackeye beans and nuts, I have added a few vegetables to make it more colourful, interesting and nutritious. This dish doesn’t have a sauce – it’s meant to be sort of mushy, with some crunchiness coming from the nuts.
Eat with flatbreads along with some yoghurt mixed with fresh herbs and garlic; or Western-style, with baked/ mashed potatoes, accompanied by a green, leafy vegetable or a lemony salad. Any leftovers would be great as sandwich filling, or turned into veggie burgers. Serves 4.
150g/ 6 oz blackeye beans (blackeye peas)
100g/ 4 oz unsalted mixed nuts of your choice: almonds, brazils, cashews, walnuts
4 tablespoon groundnut (peanut) or corn oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 medium leek, trimmed and sliced
1 medium carrot, trimmed, peeled and chopped
1 medium green pepper (bell pepper), cored and chopped
4 medium mushrooms, quartered
4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (tinned ones are fine)
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1. Soak the black-eye beans for several hours. Cook in boiling water for 30 to 45 minutes until very tender. Drain.
2. Coarsely chop the nuts in a food processor. Make sure the nuts retain some texture.
3. Heat the oil in a saucepan, and cook the onion until slightly brown. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for a few seconds.
4. Add the leeks, carrots, green pepper and mushrooms, and cook with the lid on until all the vegetables are tender.
5. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, cinnamon powder and seasoning. Cook for a further 10 minutes. For this recipe, the vegetables should to be soft to the point of falling apart – not al dente.
6. Add the chopped nuts, beans, and parsley. Mash some of the beans with the back of a wooden spoon as you go. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
7. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve hot.