Варен зрял фасул (Boiled white beans)

This is a fairly easy to make dish which can be served either as soup (if the beans are cooked in plenty of water) or as a main dish.

You need the following ingredients for 4 people:

  • white beans (put your hands palms up. Bend the fingers as if you would like to drink water from your hands. Then put next to each other the two hands this is going to be your measure unit for the quantity of beans you need. The beans must slightly overflow the dip formed by your hands)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 sweet red pepper (optional)
  • 1 tea-spoon tomato paste
  • salt
  • sweet paprika
  • oil for the frying pan
  • 2 tea-spoons dried savory (used quite often in our cuisine)
  • 2 tea-spoons dried mint (note that we use mint and not peppermint)

If you don’t have a pressure-cooker you have to start the preparations the night before the day you intend to cook the beans..Soak them in a cold water overnight.  Drain the water in the morning and put the beans in a large pot.

Pour cold water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium and boil for about 20 min. Throw away the water and put a fresh cold water. Bring again to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and boil for about 45 min. Leave the lid slightly open so that the boiling water doesn’t spill over your stove.

When the time is almost up, pour oil in a frying pan and heat it. Meanwhile finely chop the onion and the red pepper.

When the oil is hot, put the pepper into it and fry for 4 to 5 minutes. Note that a bell pepper is not a good option-it has too much water. After that add the onion and fry until the onion turns light yellow.

Take the pan away from the heat. Add the tomato paste and the red paprika. Mix all very well. N.B. Do NOT add the salt. The beans will not get cooked if you add the salt. The salt must be added at the end, when the dish is taken from the heat.

Pour few table spoons of the beans water into the pan and mix well. Then return the fried ingredients in the pot with the beans and boil for 15 minutes more. Check that the beans are ready. Take the pot away from the heat. Add the salt, savory and mint. Serve with a salad or with туршия..



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