Algerian chili (loubia b'dersa)

Yield: 10 Servings

Measure Ingredient
\N 2 tomatoes -- coarsely
\N 2 bay leaves

1 lb (2 cups) small navy beans -- : soaked

¼ c olive oil

1 lg onion -- finely diced

3 sm dried red chilies -- seeded 15 garlic cloves -- minced

1 TB sweet paprika

¼ ts freshly ground black pepper 4 ts ground cumin

6 oz tomato paste -- canned

: chopped

7 c water -- or

: vegetable broth

⅛ ts cayenne -- or to taste

20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf

: parsley -- chopped

2½ ts salt

10 sprigs fresh cilantro --

: chopped

: Cider vinegar -- or

: red wine vinegar --

: optional

LOUBIA is an Algerian speciality that gets its flavor from DERSA, a spicy blend of ground dried red chilies (use New Mexican in the US), garlic, and ground cumin. Dersa is a predominant season ing in the cuisine. A dash of vinegar is traditionally added to each bowl of Loubia on serving.

Soak and drain the beans. Set aside. SOAKING BEANS: Rinse and pick over the beans and soak them overnight in a bowl of water to cover.

Drain and proceed with the recipe. For the quick-soak method, place the beans in a large soup pot and add 10 cups of hot water. Bring them to a rolling boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the beans stand in the cooking water for at least 1 hour, and preferable longer. Drain the beans and proceed with the recipe. The older the beans, the longer they will take to cook. (She recommends adding salt to the cooking water: up to 2 teaspoons per pound of dried beans.)

In a large soup pop over medium high heat, heat the oil, and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until tender; 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chilies, garlic, paprika, pepper, and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 1 cup of the water or broth and bring to a boil. Add the beans, the remaining 6 cups water or broth, the bay leaves, cayenne, and 10 of the parsley sprigs tied together with cotton string.

Mince the remaining parsley and set aside. Lower the heat to medium low, cover, and cook the beans until tender, 1 to 2 hours.

Before serving, discard the chilies, bay leaves, and tied parsley.

Season with salt. Stir in the reserved minced parsley and cilantro.

Serve hot with vinegar on the side, if you like.

1996 Kitty Morse. North Africa: The Vegetarian Table. One in a new series produced by Chronicle Books, San Francisco. This recipe was found on MC-Recipe List Service "COLLECTION (3) Chili Recipes plus Pesto," 15 Oct 1996. [patH]

Recipe By : Kitty Morse in North Africa (1996) From: Path <phannema@...> Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 11:01:00 ~0700 (

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