Lobio – Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew

Lobio - Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew

Lobio – Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew is a dish from Georgia, a beautiful country with rich food history and traditions. It is rich, hearty, satisfying, and utterly delicious, and its flavour profile is nothing short of amazing!

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Lobio - Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew

Hey folks – how are you doing? I hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend, and you are ready for new week!

Also, can you find Daisy in today’s pictures? :)

Georgian Cuisine

Today I am excited to introduce you a dish many of you are probably not familiar with. But what I am quite sure is that regardless which part of the world you live, you have heard at least something about Georgian cuisine. In fact, it has been quite trendy recently, so at least you may have seen or tried (lucky you, then!) Khachapuri, probably the most prominent dish.

In a nutshell, Georgian cuisine is generally hearty, comforting, and somewhat quite heavy but still balanced. It uses a lot of meat, vegetables, legumes (particularly, beans), nuts, cheese, leavened dough, and spices. Georgian cuisine has a distinct character, while sharing some similarities with other national cuisines, prominently, with the Middle East and the Caucasus.

Lobio – Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew

There are many varieties of lobio, both hot and cold as well as the variation of ingredients. However, the staple ingredients are various kinds of beans, walnuts, onions, garlic, and coriander (cilantro). As with many Georgian dishes, lobio is also spicy, but not necessarily hot. Not all variations contain pomegranate seeds, but I personally loved them – they add some necessary freshness and colour!

And yes, while I am not a huge fan of cilantro, it is a must here (and indeed, it works quite nicely!)

While there are many ways of making lobio, one is the most common recipes is typically made with dark red kidney beans. They are cooked and then partially mashed with garlic, onions, walnuts, coriander, and spices. Also, typically red kidney lobio is served cold, while a hot version is usually made with white beans. (But honestly, it is so good either way!) Finally, if you want to make it authentic, do not replace dried beans with canned stuff.

Khmeli Suneli

Spices and herbs are absolutely important in Georgian cuisine. Unfortunately, some of them may be quite challenging to find where in you live.

Typically, lobio calls for chili pepper, satureja (winter savoury), fenugreek, and marigold petals. Alternative option can be Khmeli Suneli – an aromatic blend of dried herbs and spices. It typically contains ground coriander seeds, marigold, fenugreek, and few other. It does not seem that it is commonly used for making lobio, but my mom – who had some Georgian roots – would always add it. Besides, it is easier to find Khmeli Suneli online or even in an international department of your grocery store, rather than hunting each of the ingredients separately.

I hope you like this recipe, and you will make it a try.  If you make it, let me know in this post or send me an Instagram message or share your photos adding the hashtag #havocinthekitchen.

Cheers!

Lobio - Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew
Lobio - Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew

Lobio – Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew

Recipe by Ben | HavocinthekitchenCourse: Main, AppetizersCuisine: Georgian
Servings

8-10

servings
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes
Inactive

10-12

hours

Lobio – Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew is one of the most popular and delicious dishes of Georgian cuisine. Made with dry beans, walnuts, onions, garlic, cilantro, and aromatic spices.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup (ab. 400 gr.) dry Red Kidney beans

  • 1 cup (130 gr.) walnuts

  • 2 tbsp. (30 ml.) olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely minced

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. chili pepper, optional for a hot version

  • 1-2 tsp. Khmeli Suneli or the combination of herbs and spices (chili pepper, satureja (winter savoury), fenugreek, and marigold petals) (*See Notes)

  • 1 cup chopped cilantro – can use parsley or combine cilantro and parsley

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish, optional

Directions

  • Rinse the beans and place them in a bowl with water; it should cover the beans by 3-4 inches. Soak the beans overnight or for 10-12 hours.
  • Drain the soaked beans and rinse them a few times. Transfer the beans into a cooking pot, fill it with water to cover the beans by 1-2 inches. Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 1 to 2 hours; until they are soft (cooking time may vary due to different reasons, but on average they should be ready in 1.5 hours or so.)
  • Drain the beans reserving the cooking liquid. Using a potato mash or wooden spoon, gently mash the beans – just enough to crush roughly half of beans, and leaving the rest intact. Set aside.
  • Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until they are chopped not too fine (the size of grains). Set aside
  • In a large pan or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 7-10 minutes, soft and translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  • Stir in the Khmeli Suneli or the combination of dried herbs and spices; you can add some extra chili flakes if you prefer some heat. Cook for another minute.
  • Stir in the cooked and partially mashed beans along with the chopped walnuts and some reserved liquid, to loosen up the sauce. Cook for just a few minutes to combine. Stir in the cilantro. Try and season with more salt, chili, or even Khmeli Suneli, if desired. You may also need to add more of the reserved liquid to reach the desired consistency.
  • Serve lobio either cold (appetizer) or hot (main course), with some hearty bread and if desired, sprinkled with some pomegranate seeds. Keep any leftovers refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Notes

  • Typically, lobio calls for chili pepper, satureja (winter savoury), fenugreek, and marigold petals. Alternative option can be Khmeli Suneli – an aromatic blend of dried herbs and spices. It typically contains ground coriander seeds, marigold, fenugreek, and few other. It does not seem that it is commonly used for making lobio, but it is easier to find Khmeli Suneli online or even in an international department of your grocery store, rather than hunting each of the ingredients separately.

20 thoughts on “Lobio – Georgian Bean and Walnut Stew

  1. shahzad says:

    Ben, your Lobio recipe is an enticing glimpse into Georgian cuisine! The combination of beans, walnuts, and aromatic spices sounds incredibly flavorful. I appreciate the insights into Georgian culinary traditions. Can’t wait to give this stew a try

  2. Raymund says:

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe, never tried any from the Gerogian cuisine and this is the first one I had seen as well, great providing such insightful information about Georgian cuisine!

  3. David @ Spiced says:

    Interesting! I’ve never heard of this recipe before – I admittedly don’t have a lot of experience with Georgian cuisine. I like the sound of it, though. I’ve never seen a stew with walnuts and pomegranate seeds – what a cool idea!!
    David @ Spiced recently posted…Lemon Blueberry MuffinsMy Profile

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