Tuesday, July 28, 2009

chop, mash, sauté

I cooked some lubya for Rachel yesterday— lubya is a Lebanese dish of green beans in a tomato sauce, super easy to make and really healthy. I miss cooking. I haven't done much of it in Istanbul, so it felt wonderful to chop, mash and sauté. Everyone in my family makes lubya slightly differently; I throw in some cilantro and keep the green beans crunchy— which could be sacrilegious to some, but it tastes really good.

olive oil
green beans
1 large onion, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 large garlic cloves
handful of chopped cilantro
1 can of tomato paste
2 pinches of cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Mash the garlic with some salt in a mortar and pestle if you've got one— I prefer to mash my garlic than slice it, as the flavour is more intense. Sauté the onions in olive oil, I'm going to say about 1/4 of a cup— you want a considerable amount. When the onions get soft, throw in the garlic and keep sautéing for about a minute, then add the cumin. Add the cilantro, then the tomatoes. Throw in the green beans once the tomatoes' water starts to get released. Stir for about 2 minutes then add the tomato paste and stir until the paste is well mixed with all the ingredients. Add water until you get a nice sauce that's on the thicker side, not too chunky, but you definitely don't want it thin and runny. I let the mixture cook for about fifteen minutes because I can't stand a limp vegetable, but my mom lets her lubya cook until the beans are soft and flexible. Add your salt and pepper to your liking and serve over rice.


gamze said...

sounds great, i'll try this as soon as i move into my new apartment.

szaza said...

Let me know how it turns out.