Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fasoolyah Beytha

Fasoolyah Beytha

Revised 11/13/10

Hi Jenni and Charisma! This is one of the easiest dishes to prepare or pronounce that I make (Fa SOOL yah Bey THAH). It means "white beans" in English. There are many variations on this soupy, rich and flavorful curry, depending upon who you are and where you're from, but this is how we do it around here. It's really simple to throw together, and has so few ingredients; it just works for us. Each time I whip this up, the Scientist insists it's the best I've ever made...ever (but I swear I stick to this formula)!

P.S. Someday I'll replace this awful photo. Ahem.

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups dry great northern beans
1 quart water, more if needed
3 Tbsp. salt

6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
1-2 quarts of water, more as needed
1/2 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
2-3 heaping Tablespoons madras curry, to taste (lately we love Rajah brand, mild, and no, they don't sponsor me!)
1 can tomato sauce, plus an optional 1-2 Tbsp. tomato paste, if desired

1/8 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1-3 dashes cayenne pepper, to taste

1/2 white or vidalia onion, cut in 1 inch wedges

Soak beans overnight in water with 3 Tbsp. salt. The next day, rinse the beans well, then cook in fresh water.

Bring water and beans to a boil over high heat in a 6 quart minimum pot. Reduce heat to medium high and boil until soft and fully cooked, approximately 45 minutes. Add water if necessary to keep beans from cooking dry.

When beans are tender, add salt, curry powder and chicken, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or so, until chicken is cooked through. Add tomato sauce and simmer 10 more minutes. Add water if the levels gets too low.

Serving SuggestionServe over basmati rice, being sure to dish out a piece of chicken, soupy sauce and plenty of beans for everyone. By the time it's served the beans should be a beautiful golden color. And this looked crazy the first time I saw it, but it's great...put raw white or vidalia onion on the table, cut in thick wedges, and take a nibble (or chunk) with each bite of curried goodness. Beware, lovers and friends, this is potent stuff. You can always skip the onion, but it's soooooooo good!

I used to insist on using only Ship brand Madras curry powder, but alas, for some reason, it has become all but impossible to find. Now we use whatever brand we have on hand, but we're on the lookout for a new favorite.