I first made these years ago for an Iranian themed book club meeting. I had no idea how they would turn out and I had 15 people coming over, so I really hoped it would be good. The great thing about this dish is that it is simple and inexpensive to make. And it will serve a ton of people. The flavor combination is maybe a little different, but to me onions, garlic, cumin, jalapeno and citrus is redolent of Mexican cooking. The cinnamon is really what gives it a more exotic touch.
It all worked out fine that night, but for some reason I hadn't come back to this recipe. Then, flipping through one my new cookbooks, Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven, I found this recipe again. I compared it to the one I'd made earlier from Allrecipes.com and they are strikingly similar. Here is my own conglomeration of the two. Plus the addition of cilantro, because we had some, it goes well with the flavors and spices in the dish and it seems like fresh herbs always take a dish to the next level.
Persian Kidney Beans
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3-5 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups orange juice (to taste)
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 can tomato paste
- 4 cans kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 jalapeno, diced
- 1/2 each lime and orange zest (optional. Zest before juicing!)
- Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
- Black pepper to taste (optional)
- Torn fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
- Pita bread
- Heat the oil in a deep sauce pan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic, salt, cumin and cinnamon. Saute for 5 more minutes.
- Stir in the orange and lime juice. Add the tomato paste and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the beans, the jalapeno, the citrus zest and red pepper flakes. Stir often and cook for 20 more minutes over low heat.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve hot topped with more zest, red pepper flakes and fresh cilantro and pita bread to the side.