In the Caucasus, it is said that even if there is not a crumb in the house, there is always lobio. Therefore, there are as many recipes for cooking as soup and borscht in Slavic cuisine: each family has its own secret.
Beans are popular in many cuisines of the world, but lobio in Caucasian is easy to recognize by the unique aroma from a special set of spicy herbs and spices. There is another secret to Caucasian cuisine - nuts.
It turns out that by the type of nuts it is possible to determine the belonging of a bean dish to one or another Caucasian cuisine. After all, stewed, boiled and fried beans with meat, mushrooms and vegetables often decorate the tables throughout the Caucasus, and in each national kitchen it is cooked in its own way.
Lobio with nuts - features of technology dishes
We begin to discover the secrets of cooking lobio. In order not to overdo the intrigue, let's start with nuts. In the kitchen of the Caucasian peoples, nuts are an ingredient not only for baking and desserts. They are used to prepare main dishes and sauces. In Georgia, walnuts are more preferred, in Armenia, walnuts and sesame are more often used for first and second courses, sauces, and almonds are used for baking. Azerbaijani cuisine complements this list with hazelnuts.
The Caucasus is a generous land, and the people living there have been learning to use the gifts of nature for thousands of years: everything that people donate to rivers, forests, sea and mountains is used in cooking. This is done so harmoniously that it attracts the interest of gourmets of the entire post-Soviet space. For example, gathering on the nature, frying kebabs or lula-kebab, now few people think that the birthplace of these dishes is the Caucasus.
It happened with bean dishes. Beans entrenched in European and Slavic cuisine only in the last century, and they are used mainly as an addition to soups and salads. Residents of the European part of the CIS are accustomed to buying lobio in banks. The industry has mastered a couple of technologies for its production: natural beans and in tomato sauce. Well, maybe some more canned asparagus beans. Good but not enough. Caucasian cuisine knows dozens, if not hundreds of dishes from legumes. All of them are unique, but, nevertheless, the similarity in the technology of their preparation is visible.
Beans are not difficult to cook, if properly processed beans before cooking. But for this it is necessary, at least, approximately to get acquainted with the biochemical properties of the beans.
The disadvantage of the product is the presence of oligosaccharides, if we talk about the effects on the body, and - in the duration of cooking, if we talk about the technology of preparation.
These flaws can be “forgiven” to all the beans, if you pay attention to the fact that they contain protein similar in structure to animal protein, which means that the consumption of leguminous products may well replace meat, especially in vegetarian and lean cuisine.
In order that the preparation of lobio and other dishes from beans does not take much time, and that after eating there is no feeling of heaviness, there are simple rules for the preparation of the product for use:
Be sure to soak the beans before cooking, even if it is green beans, which are boiled much faster than dry beans, and try to change the water two or three times in the soaking process. This will facilitate not only cooking, but also the digestion of food. In addition, we must not forget that there is a risk of ingestion of an unacceptable amount of nitrates if beans are purchased on the market and not grown on their own plot: water dissolves salts undesirable to the body, and when soaked they go before they get into the digestive tract.
Soak dry beans in water for at least 8-12 hours, but you can leave it wet for a day, depending on the content of liquid in it. Fresh or asparagus beans (in the pods) is enough to hold in the water for 3-4 hours.
To soak the beans, use only boiled and chilled water, and it is better to put the container with the beans for a while in the water in the refrigerator. Beans contain a large amount of carbohydrates, which at room temperature can cause fermentation. By the way, the sugar contained in carbohydrates, also dissolves well in water, and, in fact, it is he - the worst enemy of a slim figure and people with diabetes. But the bean leaves in diabetes are useful, as in edema, gout, hypertension, kidney stones and a number of other diseases. Be sure to eat beans of all kinds, as it is an immunomodulator and anti-inflammatory agent. It is no coincidence that lobio is a common and traditional dish in the Caucasus, whose inhabitants are famous for their good health and longevity.
Remember these rules, and then everything is simple. Lobio is a stew of one or more of its varieties. For all variants of lobio and other bean dishes, onion, vegetable or other fat, one of the acidic components is a must-have accompaniment.
If several varieties of leguminous crops are selected for lobio, each of them should be prepared separately and then combined in a dish.
Fats for lobio are selected depending on the national characteristics of the cuisine and the overall composition of the dish. This may be animal and vegetable fats, their combination. There are lobio options that are prepared without any fat at all. By the way, these recipes are great for home canning.
Acidic components are necessary for better absorption of the beans, as well as a flavoring agent. You can experiment by adding pomegranate, lemon juice, unripe grapes, dogwood, barberry, plum or cherry plum. Tomatoes in any form, fruit vinegar, dry wine will do.
Beans go well with many products: with all kinds of meat, mushrooms, eggplants, zucchini, carrots and many other vegetables. All types of leafy and spicy greens, fruits, nuts, cheeses are suitable for beans.
About nuts have already been said, and it remains to add only that they must be added at the end of cooking, along with spicy ingredients. Nuts, as a rule, are rubbed with garlic in Georgian cuisine and added to the dish as part of sauces, but you can sprinkle the dish with chopped nuts or sesame, almonds. All kinds of nuts are suitable for beans: in India, Central Asia, even there are recipes for famous desserts based on beans and nuts. Peanut oil can be used together with nuts or instead of them, just remember that valuable substances of walnut oil and some other nuts quickly decompose when heated. Therefore, nut butter, like fresh nuts, is better to use at the end of cooking as a flavored additive. Cheeses in the Caucasus prefer brine, and they also harmoniously complement the beans. You can try your options.
Choosing spices, try, as they say, do not overdo it. Do not allow the predominance of one spice over another, and remember that the intensity of the flavor of each of them may be different. If you need to emphasize the nature of the Caucasian cuisine, you can not do without cilantro and coriander, Imereti saffron, celery, basil. Someone has calculated that in the Caucasian cuisine only more than three hundred spices are used, but, of course, that in one dish they all will not “sound” at all, but will only spoil the product.
Be sure to use garlic, and do not be afraid of its strong smell and long aftertaste. In reasonable quantities, in combination with parsley and sour fruit or tomato juice, wine or wine vinegar, its smell will evaporate immediately after eating, leaving only memories of a piquant taste. Overcooked or overcooked garlic has a completely different, less pleasant taste and aroma.
Please note that Georgian dishes are not as spicy and salty as it may seem at first glance. This impression is created by the sharp aroma of herbs, but in fact, in the culinary recipes of Caucasian cuisine most often does not indicate a strict amount of salt and sharp types of pepper, but it is written “to taste”.
Of course, it is impossible to foresee all the technological aspects in advance, but on the whole, based on what has already been said and read, you can proceed to practical implementation - cooking beans, and accept the recipes below as a source of creative inspiration. Lobio is not only what is on the shelves in the supermarket.
1. Georgian lobio with nuts and pomegranate
1 kg of beans,
3 pcs. onion
1 tbsp. l chopped garlic,
2 tbsp. l pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp. walnuts peeled,
Sort through the beans, then rinse and cover with water, the level of which will be 10 cm above the beans. Let it stand for 8-10 hours and stew for about two hours. Do not reduce the amount of water during cooking. When it is half ready, add the finely chopped onions. While the beans are boiling, chop the nuts. Salt and pepper the cooked beans, add the nuts and let cool. Sprinkle the ready dish with greens and pomegranate.
2. Tsvani - lobio with nuts
Cooking tsvani lobio does not take much time, and its great taste does not leave anyone indifferent. Traditionally, this dish is served with corn tortillas, but it is also very suitable for fatty meat dishes and pickles, for example, it goes well with Georgian cabbage.
0.8 kg of green beans
125 g of nuts,
basil, nutmeg, black pepper, salt
Soak the pods of beans, after sorting them. After it is infused, put it in lightly salted water, then grind it to make puree. Add a small amount of sunflower oil, herbs, seasonings and nuts. From the resulting mass make small round cakes and arrange on a plate. Optionally, you can add fresh red pepper, which will give the dish spiciness and enhance the taste.
3. Lobio with nuts and tomatoes
This lobio cooking option will appeal to lovers of nuts, cilantro and, of course, beans. In addition, it is low in calories, as for its preparation does not use oil.
0.5 kg bean pods,
150 g peeled chopped nuts,
0.6 kg fresh tomatoes,
1 clove garlic,
1 sprig of cilantro,
Cut the tomatoes into small slices and place in a small saucepan. Pour boiling water and let boil for 2-3 minutes, then mash them. Already infused beans cut into slices and put to boil. In the finished beans, add the tomatoes and chopped onions and let boil. Add salt, garlic, chilli, nuts, cilantro, basil, parsley and leave to cook for another 10-15 minutes.
4. Lobio with green beans
0.5 kg of beans, pods
100 g of crushed nuts
2 tbsp. l oil, vegetable
5 onions, medium size 3 tbsp. l vinegar, wine
2 cloves of garlic,
Break and boil the beans. Chop the onions and fry in sunflower oil. Add it to the beans and fry. Boil the wine vinegar in a skillet in which the onions were fried and let it cool. Mix finely chopped greens, garlic and nuts and beans and leave to infuse for 5 minutes, then transfer the mixture to the dish, salt and pour in the vinegar. Serve lobio cold.
5. Lobio with nuts and eggplants - Armenian cuisine
150 g white beans
30 g of chopped nuts
200 g of eggplants
2 tbsp. l sunflower oil
Soaked beans put boiled. While the beans are boiling, clean the eggplants and cut into wheels, salt and let stand for 20 minutes so that the salt has time to soak them, then squeeze and fry with vegetable oil. Prepare the sauce from the nuts. To do this, mix them in a saucepan with herbs, add vinegar, 50 g of water, salt, pepper and bring to a boil twice. Spread the beans on the eggplants and pour over the chilled sauce.
6. Lobio with nuts - Georgian cuisine
1 kg of beans
2 large or 3 small onion heads
0.4 kg of nuts
4 cloves of garlic
Cook the beans and squeeze the water. Mix it with chopped nuts, finely chopped onions, herbs and garlic. Salt and pepper, then add vinegar. If desired, the dish can be diluted with water, in which the beans are cooked so that it is not too thick. Before serving, garnish with parsley sprigs.
Lobio with nuts - useful tips
If you cut the greens with a bad knife, the juice will remain on the cutting board, not reaching the dish itself. What to do? You can, of course, sharpen a knife, but fundamentally it does not solve the problem. There are many useful things in the kitchen, such as kitchen scissors with several blades. They are ideal for chopping greens, which can be cut with their help, even without touching the cutting board, directly above the pan or dish. If there are no such scissors in the farm yet, at least use a plastic board that does not absorb juice so intensively for chopping vegetables. The most extreme option: a wooden board before cutting greens, rub with fat.