Messabecha of lima beans à la Jigal

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Recipe by Damaris Beems Course: Side dish, MezzeCuisine: Middle East
Servings

4

Preparation

15

minutes
Cooking time

3

hours 
Soaking of the lima beans

12 uur

Total time

3

hours 

15

minutes

There’s comfort food and there is comfort food. This is the ultimate version of it. And as you can expect from comfort food, it takes hours and hours for it to get at its best. But then… Lima beans, the dry ones, so soft after all these hours in the pan. You could hardly image they could get this soft any way. It is the secret of adding olive oil to the water. Patience. Endless soft boiling. And then served with some spicy shatta, crisp red onion en nice flat bread. Eat your heart out.

Ingredients

  • 500 gram dry lima beans

  • 1 red onion

  • 5 twigs sage

  • 3 green chili peppers

  • 7 cloves garlic

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 500 gram very ripe tomatoes

  • 5 table spoon shatta (see the recipe on this website)

  • 100-200 ml olive oil

Cooking time

  • You have soaked the lima beans in water for at least 12 hours. Now you are going to cook them separately first. You bring them to a boil and let them cook for a while. Foam forms on the water. After half an hour, remove the pan from the heat, put the beans in a sieve, rinse and bring them to a boil again in clean water. You repeat this one more time.
  • You rinse the beans again, clean your pan and put them back in the pan with clean water. Make sure there is 3 cm of water above the beans. Now add the bay leaves, sage, chilli peppers and garlic cloves. Let the water come to a boil and then lower the heat so that the water boils minimally, preferably not even. You then pour olive oil on the water, such that it covers the entire surface of the water. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
  • After three hours, check if the beans are cooked through. If so, take out the bay leaves and sage (if you can find them) and stir well. You turn the heat up high and let the water and olive oil come together to a nice creamy interplay. Stir well so that it does not burn. This takes about 15 minutes. Bring it to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, finely chop the red onion. Squeeze out the soft part of the tomatoes. You scoop the messabecha into a nice bowl. Divide the red onion, tomato ‘juice’ and the shatta over it and enjoy.

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