I was amazed to see fresh cranberry beans at my local vegetable vendor. I had first seen them in the Nilgiris at a friend's house and upon enquiring I learned that they are a staple in Badaga cuisine. Subsequently, I have learned to look for them during their fleetingly short season and am happy to buy bags of them when available.
These beans are delicious, lightly flavoured with a mild earthy taste, they have a soft texture and are perfect for stews, stir-fries and salads. This recipe is typically Turkish, the pomegranate molasses brings the salad alive with sweet-tart flavours that pair well with the earthy beans. The salad is super healthy, and always a refreshing treat for those who shun salads on the table. As a variation, you can also crumble some feta cheese on top s a garnish. This is not part of the original recipe but the cheese adds a lovely salty taste to the salad.
This is a wonderful cookbook for contemporary recipes from Istanbul, a city I so adore! It is filled with wonderful recipes that highlight the food and culture of Turkey. The book is filled with both traditional and contemporary recipes, each of them excellent.
For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.
3 cups shelled fresh cranberry beans
5 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 large cucumber, peeled and cubed to the size of the beans
1-2 green chillies, thinly sliced
10-12 pitted olives, green or black, halved
1 tablespoons capers
3-4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon za'atar
Feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Ahh the beans, water and salt to a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 4-6 minutes till ten beans are just cooked. Leave the beans with a lovely bite, please do not cook them to a mush. Drain and cool.
Mix all the ingredients well and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or in the fridge for longer.
Serve at room temperature garnished with za'atar.