Broad Beans with Dill

I love broad beans, but sadly in Britain we tend to discard the pods which are sometimes better than the beans themselves. My father had many Egyptian contacts as he was involved in the setting up of the Anglo-American hospital in Cairo. He loved their food and regularly had pigeons and mullet roe sent from Cairo. His friend Dr Halim Grace gave him this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 900g/2lb young fresh broad beans in their pods
  • 150ml/¼ pint olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 300ml/½ pint boiling water
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped dill
  • 300ml/½ pint Greek yoghurt

Method

Wash the beans, top, tail and string them where necessary. Heat the oil in a large, heavy, lidded pan. Sauté the onions and garlic to soften. Reduce heat, add the beans in their pods and the lemon juice and season with salt and sugar. Stir, and stew gently for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add water and half the dill, adjust to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour until the pods are very tender. Leave to cool. Pour the lot into a dish with the rest of the dill. Serve with the yoghurt and hot pitta bread. This dish improves with keeping.

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