Getting into the Spring of Things



I feel like I've drifted away from blogging for a while. It's so good to be back into it again with this post! You might know that I've started doing more events recently, which is why I've been so quiet. I'm sorry, please forgive me.


I have to say, the hardest thing about working and starting a business is finding enough hours in the day. I feel like everything takes so much time! Not that I'm at the stage yet where I can give up one or the other - crazy talk - but there is so much to think about. ALL. THE . TIME. But hey, I guess if I ever want to completely run my own business, I've got to get used to this, right?


I had one of the best events ever at the weekend. I feel like I say that about every event. I don't care, Saturday night's was soon much fun. It was the first time I'd run an event that wasn't half full of people I know and half full of some one they had brought. I knew one person at the table and the rest were clients (clients!) who had seen my posters, received the Cardamom & Dill newsletter or follow me on social media. It was a blast! And I really think people enjoyed themselves.


The main dish I served was one that I actually never cook because I got sick of eating stringy beans when I was little but it's one of my mum's absolute favourites. It's also one that she would rather my uncle cook because apparently his version is the best. Well, here is the recipe for my version and I have to say, it's pretty darn good!


Loubia bi' Zeit (green beans in olive oil)

  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 white onion, sliced

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into chunks

  • 1 kg French green beans (fresh or frozen depending on the season)

  • 2 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp tomato paste

  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds

  • 100ml veg stock


Add the olive oil to a large saucepan and heat. Add the onions and cook them until they are soft and translucent. Then add the garlic. If you add the onion first it stops the garlic from burning too quickly.


Once the garlic is cooked down, add the tomatoes. Cook them right down until they are nice and soft and starting to fall apart. If they are ripe and in season this should take no time at all. If they are not in season, put a lid on the pot and stir every 5 minutes or so.


Add the coriander and stir everything in, the add the beans. Stir so that everything is well combined. If you are using frozen beans, use the lid again. Stir, then put the lid on for 5 minutes, stir, lid.


While the beans are softening, in a dry frying pan, toast the cumin seed until they are slightly darker and you can smell their perfume. Do not burn!


Add stock to the beans ad bring the stew to a boil. Add the toasted cumin seeds and then reduce the pot down to a simmer. Simmer with the lid on for 20-30 minutes until the beans are soft but not mushy.


Serve with rice or Arabic bread.


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