Did You Know?

Did you know??
Although using avocados and bananas are all the buzz now to get soft and shiny hair, all it will get you is a messy kitchen and bathroom. These products are great to help your hair for one day, but the proteins in them are way too big for your hair to absorb. And unless you are going to use them each day (yikes!), then you should head to a beauty supply store and check out some Vegan products that use "hydrolyzed" proteins - proteins from avocados and bananas that actually are small enough to help your hair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Barbunya: Stewed Roman (Cranberry) Beans

So about a year ago I bought some dried Roman beans thinking, "if I buy them, I'll definitely come up with a reason to use them!"  Guess what?  I found them yesterday when we were cleaning out our pantry.  Unopened.  Ridiculous, right?  So, out of guilt, I got a bucket of hot water and tossed a few cups of the beans in and left them to soak.  I'm glad I did, because this turned out to be a delicious meal.  The beans are very soft and meaty, and this had a hint of a meaty chili, even though that wasn't what I expected.

When I was looking online to figure out what to do with them, I kept getting almost no information.  Having come from an ethnic family, I know a lot of beans and greens can get names that aren't from their culture, which means to find any good 'authentic' recipes, you have to figure out the real name for the ingredient.  Starting with Roman beans, I realized they were the same as Cranberry beans.  Cranberry beans, however, doesn't sound ethnic, so I knew my search wasn't over-- but I was getting more recipes than before.  Scrolling through the recipes, I came across the term 'barbunya', which you can see at the top of this post.  I found roughly 6 different recipes for a simple stewed barbunya bean, and this was the final creation!   The term 'barbunya' is of Turkish origin, which is an area of Europe that I never think of for having its own cuisine.  Also, the term barbunya not only refers to these beans, but this specific dish.  I'm not sure how it is identified separately from the bean, but my guess is from its context (but I could be wrong-- if you know, please leave a comment about it!). After trying this nom-licious dish, I may have to expand my Turkish horizons a bit further!

Note: This recipe has been recently modified (1/24).  Apparently, the recipe I came up with was close to what someone else had posted online (and they had a problem with that), so I went back to the drawing board, which was is fine because this batch was even better!

Now I've got to find other ways to use these beans-- suggestions?

2 cups of dried barbunya beans
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 medium-sized white onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 banana peppers, seeded and chopped
2 carrots, cut in rounds
1/2 cup kale, rinsed and chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp unrefined sugar
2 cups hot water
1/2 bunch parsley, leaves coarsely chopped.
salt to taste

Soak barbunyas in water over night.

Before cooking, boil until soft, approximately for an hour.  Depending on the age of the beans, this can take up to 3 hours, so be prepared!

Drain and rinse.

In another pot, add and heat oil. Add onions, garlic, and green peppers. Stir for 4-5 minutes.

Add carrots and tomatoes and cook until tomatoes turn dark red.

Add beans and kale and stir for 5 mins. Add salt, sugar, and water. Turn down the heat to low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together.

Garnish with parsley and fresh lemon slices.
You can try it warm, but Barbunya, like all Turkish olive oil dishes, is served and best when it's cold.  My best suggestion is to leave it on the stove after you make it in the afternoon, and have it for an evening meal-- lukewarm.  Of course, it is winter, so keeping it warm isn't the worst idea!

1 comment:

  1. Haute cuisine, like other aspects of high culture, tends to flourish in places with a concentration of wealth and power, such as the seats of empire. Istanbul (previously Constantinople) was a seat of empire for about 1500 years, the last 465 or so as capital of the Ottoman Empire. As the point of convergence of the trade routes of the Mediterranean and of Central Asia, it is also a place with access to a great richness of produce. As a result Turkish cuisine was a major world cuisine for centuries and remains important, though much of it is better known today as being associated with any of the numerous other countries created as the empire declined.