Red Bean Lobio in a Clay Pot, Traditional Georgian Dishes
Red bean lobio in a clay pot is a healthy and irresistible vegetarian dish which has long been central to Georgian cuisine. This hearty meal can be prepared dozens of different ways depending on which region of Georgia you are in. In western Georgia, for example, it is spicier, while in the eastern regions it has a more muted taste.
It is very easy to prepare Georgian-style lobio. In addition to the main ingredient of red kidney beans you will need garlic, onions, herbs, red peppers and various spices. The beans are sorted, washed and left to soak in water overnight. The next day they are boiled and mixed with the chopped greens, garlic and onion (in some recipes chopped walnuts are also an important ingredient). The dish is simmered on low heat until the lobio beans are completely boiled and can be lightly kneaded with a fork. Cooked red lobio tends to have a stew-like consistency and is usually served in clay pots which help the dish to retain its heat for an extended period. It is garnished with fresh parsley and cilantro and served with mchadi, cornmeal cakes fried in vegetable oil. Often the mchadi is cooked with suluguni cheese which melts on contact with the hot cakes.
This super healthy Georgian dish is a great choice for anyone on a vegetarian diet but is also popular with meat eaters. One cup of red beans is equivalent to the average person’s daily fiber requirement. The beans contain a large amount of magnesium, which is necessary for proper functioning of the circulatory system, along with a vegetable protein that is easily absorbed by the body. The high calorie content of the dish makes it very satiating, ensuring that you will not be hungry for hours after eating it.
When traveling in Georgia or visiting a Georgian restaurant, be sure to sample red bean lobio in a clay pot. Once you have tasted it, you are likely to keep coming back for more!