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Fasolia ‘yiahni’ (Bean Casserole)

Fasolia ‘yiahni’ (Bean Casserole)

Ingredients

You need 1/4 - 1/2 kilo of Fasolia or dried beans, depending on number of people.  1/2 kilo will produce about 5-6 servings but extra servings can be stored in airtight containers in the freezer if you make too much.

For the sauce

2 - 5 tablespoons of olive oil

One medium or large onion

Chopped tomato or tomato paste

Mixture of any or all of the following vegetables, chopped celery, chopped onion, chopped leeks, courgettes and carrots.

Method

It’s best to soak the beans overnight to release the toxins and also to help them cook more easily.  Soak in a large saucepan with cold water for a few hours or overnight.  Remove the water and add fresh cold water to cover, the water line should come about an inch or so above the beans.

Bring to boil and skim off froth, then allow to simmer till semi cooked, make sure you do not forget to reduce the heat or they will stick to the pan! Once the beans are semi cooked replace the water with fresh cold water. 

You can leave them plain or add vegetables at this point. 

The beans are cooked when they soften, you must be careful not to overcook them but also not to under cook them. Just think, you need to have them as you would want to eat them.  If they are under cooked they will not taste nice. Make sure the saucepan does not boil dry.


To prepare the sauce you need about 2 - 5 tablespoons of olive oil depending on taste and quantity of peas you have used.  Cypriots never measure, they just learn by trial and error.

Chop one onion, medium or large depends on quantity of beans and preference.

Fry the onion in the olive oil till golden and add chopped tomato or tomato paste to taste. You can use either fresh or tinned tomato, it’s up to you.  Again it’s how much you like.

Put the sauce in the saucepan with the beans.  You can eat them like this or add vegetables of your choice.  If you do add vegetables you will need to cook a little more until the vegetables are cooked. Once the beans are cooked, reduce the liquid to the thickness of sauce you prefer.

Add salt and pepper to taste before you take the dish of the heat.  Note - you do not put the salt into the beans until they are cooked as addition of salt leave them hard, they will not cook.

This dish is traditionally eaten with fresh bread, Greek bread if possible!  It can also be accompanied by Spring Onions.

Kali Orexi! (Bon apetit)
 


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