This Mediterranean specialty, sold in take-out containers for years at Kalustyan's, is now served in the shop's cafe as well.
- 1 lb. giant beans, soaked overnight
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 1⁄2 tsp. sweet paprika
- Pinch ground allspice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
Drain and rinse beans, then put into a medium pot and cover with cold water by 2". Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until soft, 1–1 1⁄2 hours, depending on freshness of beans.
Meanwhile, heat 1⁄2 cup of the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, paprika, and allspice and cook until sauce thickens slightly and oil rises to the top, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Return sauce to pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm over low heat.
Drain beans and add to sauce. Stir in basil, dill, and the remaining 1⁄2 cup oil. Increase heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.