Serves: 6 to 8
There are as many different recipes for lobio (beans) as there are people in Abkhazia: lobios flavored with lemon, coriander, walnuts, red hot peppers, cinnamon, cloves, ground marigolds, pomegranate juices, tarragon vinegar, tkemali sauce, plum jam, bay leaves, garlic, tamarind, or some combination of these.
- ½ pound of small kidney beans (~1.25 cups)
- ¾ teaspoon of salt
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped (in the future, I would cook this in some water or oil first, to reduce the heat – it was just a bit too sharp when put in raw)
- 2 sprigs of cilantro
- 1 sprig of parsley
- ½ generous cup of shelled walnuts
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 small hot red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon of ground marigold flower
- ½ to ¾ cup of pomegranate juice (I substituted lemon juice)
- Soak the beans overnight covered with water (or if you are, like me, impatient, cover rinsed beans with 4 times their volume water, bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let sit for an hour. Rinse them and carry on with the recipe or just use canned beans).
- Place the beans in a large pot and cover with fresh water.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
- Drain and stir in the chopped onion.
- Grind the cilantro and parsley together with the walnuts, garlic and hot pepper.
- Add them to the beans.
- Mix the cinnamon, cloves, marigold, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt into the bean mixture.
- Pour in enough pomegranate juice to moisten the beans, and mix well.
- Allow the beans to cool to room temperature, then serve liberally garnished with pomegranate seeds.