Gourari black bean balls with shakshuka

This tasty twist on a traditional classic is packed full of protein and fibre for a healthy vegetarian recipe that makes no concessions on flavour.

INGREDIENTS

For the bean balls

  • 400 grams dried gourara black beans (or regular large black beans or kidney beans)
  • 100 grams breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • Handful of fresh mint
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium egg

For the shakshuka

  • 6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 2 bell peppers, peeled and seeded
  • 2 medium onions, 
  • 2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 3 eggs
  • Handful of fresh parsley

Other

  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil for frying

METHOD

For the bean balls

  1. First pick through the beans to remove any empty husks or foreign objects, then rinse thoroughly.
  2. Soak the beans for a couple of hours (or longer for regular sized black beans).
  3. Boil beans until tender but not mushy, usually between 1 and 3 hours. Add salt to taste towards the end of cooking time (adding it earlier can mean your beans stay crunchy).
  4. Drain the beans almost completely, allow to cool slightly and then mash them lightly with a fork. You want to achieve a sticky consistency but retain some texture (i.e. it shouldn’t be completely smooth).
  5. Add in the finely chopped onion, chopped mint, minced garlic, breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly. Check seasoning and add salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Then add the egg and mix.
  6. If the mix is too dry to hold together, add a small amount of water, one tablespoon at time.
  7. Form into small balls and fry over a medium heat, turning regularly until lightly browned and crunchy on the outside.
  8. Drain off on kitchen paper and set aside.

For the shakshuka

  1. Finely slice the onions and peppers and cook on a low heat in a generous amount of olive oil.
  2. Dice the tomatoes and add them to the pan.
  3. Cook over a low heat until the sauce is thick and reduced. Then add the paprika.
  4. Nestle your black bean balls into the sauce to heat through. Then create shallow wells in the sauce and crack eggs into the wells, add a small pinch of salt to each.
  5. Continue to cook uncovered over a low heat until the egg whites are cooked through but the yolks are still runny.
  6. Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley and serve with fresh bread and a pot of harissa.

Extra bean balls can be kept in the freezer for a few months. We like to make a big batch and freeze them in portions for quick and easy weekday dinners.