Hey everyone!  Today for dinner I made Albanian-Style Bean. You may be wondering what in the world are Albanian-Style Beans, don’t worry I am here to tell you.  I am here to introduce a great way to eat beans!!  My ethic backround is Albanian.  My mom and dad were born in Montenegro so I know a lot of Albanian dishes that I will be sharing with you from time to time.  By the way there are Albanian people in Montenegro.  Whrn I went to Montenegro I told everyone all the different ways I cook beans like put them into soups, stews, etc.  This was unheard of there.   There is only one way Albanian people eat beans.  They eat them in a gravy like liquid.  The  liquid is like a thick soup.  The most popular beans that we use are any white bean and roman/kidney beans.  These beans can be flavored in so many ways.  I like to put whatever soup vegetables I have on hand.  Most often I put carrot, peppers, and celery.  I like to flavor it with paprika, oregano, and Vegeta.  Now you may be wondering what in the world is Vegeta.  Vegetais an awesome seasoning that Albanians always use, in fact it’s our number one seasoning.  It is dehydrated vegetables, some spices, and lots of salt!  Its really good and I put it in quite a few dishes mostly Albanian dishes.  I feel it is difficult make Albanian food without vegeta, it just doesn’t taste Albanian.  I think almost every Albanian household has vegeta.  I really think you should go to an eastern European market and get it.  I sometimes use it in place of vegetable bouillon cubes or vegetable broth.   I am going to give you a basic recipe on how to make these beans. I am always experimenting on these beans as I just learned how to make them. This is what I did with them today. 

Albanian-Style Beans

Albanian style beans

1 pound of beans (Today I used Roman Beans)
1 Large Onion chopped and half of it goes whole
1 Carrot fine chopped
1/2 Red Bell Pepper fine chopped
1.5 teaspoons of paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3 teaspoons vegeta or any powered broth or 1 bouillon cube or use vegetable broth instead of water
About 6 cups of water
A couple of tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste or tomato sauce (Optional)
1.5 tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper to taste

Soak the beans for 8-12 hours. Rinse them and put about 6 cups of water covering them by a fair amount. Add the carrots and half an onion. Bring to boil and then to a simmer. Cook beans until they start to get tender about 40 mins depending on beans.

When they start to get tender start chopping the onions. Heat a skillet to medium heat. Add the oil. Add the onions. You want the onions to cook nice and slowly for about 10 minutes. Add the herbs and paprika. Also add tomato paste if using. Also season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and cook for about a minute. Add the mixture to the beans. Then you want to clean the pan with the bean broth and add it back to the beans. Cook the beans for 15 minutes until thickened. You want it to be nice and gravy like. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with bread and salad.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask me as you probably have never heard of Albanian food or this dish.