Green Beans with Eggs (Lobya Chighirtmasi)

I know, I know, you are probably thinking, “Here we go again – she disappeared for a long time and is back with another excuse.” But please forgive me.  We are getting ready for our big trip to Turkiye and Azerbaijan, so lately I have been obsessed with packing suitcases and making sure nothing is forgotten before we leave. So, I am officially self-diagnosed with suitcase syndrome caused by an extreme and rare case of over-excitement about packing things.

But I’ve been cooking, though rarely, and my cooking these days involves mostly vegetables and less so meats. Speaking of vegetables, the vegetable season is officially open in Azerbaijan too. This means that the consumption of meats is gradually decreasing giving way to vegetables of all sorts, plentiful throughout the summer. Green beans are some of the most frequently used and Azerbaijanis cook them in a variety of ways. Here’s one way to cook them – with eggs.

Traditionally, this dish, called
lobya chighirtmasi, is prepared with Romano green beans or dragon-tongue beans that turn green when cooked. Both of these bean varieties are sweeter and more flavorful than French beans more widely available in the US.  I highly recommend that you use these varieties for this dish. Look for them in Middle Eastern/Persian/Turkish stores. If not available, substitute with regular green beans. Green beans and eggs work great together in this dish.  You will be pleasantly surprised by the varied taste their combination offers. Nush Olsun!


Green Beans with Eggs (Lobya Chighirtmasi)

Serves 4

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and chopped at a slight angle into 2 –inch pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)
1 cup chopped fresh basil (preferably purple basil)
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
4 eggs

Fill a medium saucepan with about 10 cups of water. Add the beans and bring to a boil. Cook for about 25 minutes (may take shorter or longer depending on the bean variety), or until they are almost tender but not completely cooked. Drain on a colander. At this point, you can leave the beans as is, or press them in the colander with the bottom of a mug or a glass, until the beans are somewhat smashed and softened (this method is indigenous to the northwest where it is believed that slightly smashing the beans ensures the release of maximum flavor from them). Set the beans aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, heat the butter or oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook for another 5 minutes. Toss in the drained beans. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to mix. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes, until the beans are tender and there is little liquid left.

Break the eggs in a small bowl and stir to mix. Pour the eggs evenly over the green beans. Cover and cook until the eggs are set, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately with bread.

Your Comment

20 Comments
  1. A very healthy and delicious dish!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. I love this dish!! I always make it without the eggs, this time i’m gonna try your recipe! It looks so good!

  3. OMG I love this dish and completely forgotten about it! Perfect timing, as my mother is here with us now, and guess what she will be making soon. :) xxx

  4. This dish looks fabulous and has 3 of my favourite ingredients… green beans, tomatoes and eggs…but I do have a question for you.
    The photo shows what looks like cream covering the beans and eggs but there’s no cream in the recipe…would you please clarify what the white ingredient is?
    Many thanks and thanks for sharing!
    Barbara in Toronto

  5. BARBARA: The creamy looking ingredients is actually egg-whites. There is no cream in the recipe. Enjoy!

  6. I can’t wait to see the sights, sounds and food you will share with us from your trip!

  7. My husband and I were just talking about this dish over breakfast today! I didn’t know its Azeri name; in fact, I didn’t know that anyone even made this dish outside our family. My dad used to make it for breakfast on the weekends when I was little. He didn’t use tomatoes, and of course we didn’t have basil in Moscow, but otherwise the recipe was pretty much the same. Oh, and we ate it topped with ketchup, so there was a tomato-ey component to our version after all!

  8. Happy to hear that you’re coming to Turkey. You must be excited about seeing your relatives in Azerbaijan and in Turkey. If you happen to pass by Eski?ehir, maybe we can meet. Wish you a wonderful trip!

    And this is a great recipe of green beans. We were talking about this dish with mom the other day. We’ve never tried it, just heard and decided to try, but didn’t have the recipe at all. So thank you Feride!

  9. This dish looks so interesting! Have a great trip!

  10. Yum! I completely forgot about this dish! Thanks for the reminder.. My mouth is watering already.. I gotta make it soon!

    I’m so excited for your trip.. You are going to have an amazing time, I’m sure! :)

  11. I have never had green beans and eggs before. I love learning new dishes such as these from cultures far from my own. Thanks for sharing

  12. this dish reminds me of the Persian kookoo; bet it tastes fantastic, about the only way I will eat eggs is if they are surrounded by veggies.

  13. Farida, this was delicious yet easy to make! Fresh basil really made the difference, and now my friends are looking forward to more Azeri food (yes, this time they will remeber the name of the country!)

    Thanks!

  14. It is the first time when I hear about this combination between beans and eggs, but in your picture it looks delicious…

  15. Hi darling! :)

    I’m also azeri. I’m Leyla’s sister ( Leyla’s room) . Really wanted to make lobya today and wanted to make sure I’ve got the directions right…haha. Thanks for the recipe:)

    Hope you are having fun in Baku!

    xx
    Mimi

  16. I was serching to find recepies from back home, i was so happy when i came across ur site. Looking over all the dishes reminded me of my childhood. Thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to get started. I miss Baku very much and I hope you have a great time!!!!!!

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  18. Thank you, this is a very appetizing

  19. Thanks for a great recipe