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  • Rohan Kamicheril



Adapted from Taste of Persia

Makes about 2 cups

Naomi Duguid recommends this simple purée of kidney beans, walnuts, and garlic from the Lori region of Armenia as one of her favorite things to take to potlucks and parties, and it’s easy to see why. If you’re using canned kidney beans (which I did), the dish is the very soul of simplicity. It comes together in a matter of minutes (if you don’t count the inevitable wrestling match of washing out your food processor afterwards), and tastes like so much more than the sum of its very simple parts.

If, as Duguid recommends, you have access to truly fresh walnuts, they will want no more treatment than to be blitzed to creamy oblivion. But if, like me and most cooks, you’re relying on store-bought walnuts, they’ll definitely benefit from a quick turn in a hot pan or in a medium oven to give their flavor a little boost. In the interest of time (and because of my inherent inability to plan ahead), I used canned kidney beans, but if you have the time and access to good dried beans, do soak and cook your own—the difference will be significant.


1 14-oz can red kidney beans (preferably organic) or 2 cups cooked kidney beans

1 small garlic clove, finely minced (or to taste)

1 cup walnuts, toasted till fragrant

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup mixed fresh herbs such as dill, tarragon, or cilantro, chopped finely


Place the cooled walnuts and the minced garlic in your food processor.

Process till the walnuts and garlic are ground to a fairly fine paste.

Drain the can of kidney beans and reserve their liquid.

Add the drained kidney beans to the bowl of the food processor and process till they are reduced to a thick pâté-like consistency. If you find that it’s too thick for your liking, add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved bean liquor and process again.

Empty into a bowl and season with salt and pepper and olive oil and stir to incorporate fully. Finally, stir in the herbs and serve at room temperature.

Read the Tiffin interview with Naomi Duguid over here.

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