Lima beans with Golden Raisins
Fresh lima beans are usually available as small “butter limas” or larger, as “potato limas”. Shop for local produce dark green pods, tightly closed and bulging with large beans. To free the beans from the pods, cut a strip along the inner edge of the pod, then with your thumbnail remove the beans. June, July and august yield the most profuse crops, yet at some specialty greengrocers the availability extends a month before and after. If you want to try this dish in the dead of winter, you can substitute frozen Ford hook limas. As the raisins plump, they impart a delicate sweetness to this dish.
Preparation and cooking time (after assembling ingredients): 30 minutes
• Water – 3 cups (710 ml)
• Fresh lima beans (about 2 pounds/1 kg in pods) or one 10 –ounce (285 g) package of frozen Ford hook lima beans, defrosted – 1 ½ cups (360 ml)
• Ghee, unsalted butter or olive oil – 2 tablespoons (30 ml)
• Paprika – ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) or Cayenne pepper – 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 ml)
• Ground mustard – ¼ teaspoon (1 ml)
• Turmeric – ¼ teaspoon (1 ml)
• Golden raisins or currants – 3 table spoons (45 ml)
• Jaggery or brown sugar (optional) – 2 teaspoons (10 ml)
• Lime or lemon juice – 1 ½ table spoons (22 ml)
• Salt – ½ teaspoon (2 ml)
• Finely chopped fresh coriander, dill or parsley – 1 ½ table spoons (22 ml)
• Water – ¼ cup (60 ml)
1. Bring the 3 cups (710 ml) of water to a boil in a 3-quart/liter saucepan, preferably nonstick. Ad the beans and cook over low. Heat for10 minutes. Pour off the water.
2. Add the ghee, butter or oil and remaining ingredients (if you are using frozen beans, add at this stage)> Simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes or until the beans are tender. Uncover, raise the heat and reduce the remaining liquid to a glaze.
Note: Cooking times vary considerably depending on the size and freshness of the beans.
By Yamuna Devi Dasi