Black-Eyed Bean & Avocado Wraps: from the Snackistan Sandwich Bar

Black eyed beans
To celebrate the opening of our own little real-life Snackistan (cafe, in the shop, two tables only – so don’t go getting too excited) we’ve been playing around with some new wraps and sandwich fillings. And I reckon this might be a contender for one of the best ever. Mr. Shopkeeper reluctantly agreed it was pretty good, but would prefer added smoked chicken, or perhaps some char-grilled sirloin. Hmm. In the recipe below it is delightfully vegan and (potentially) gluten free.

This is kind of refried beans, but with a Middle Eastern slant. Black-eyed beans are my favourite of all pulses as they have such a wonderful innate flavour all of their own. They are inexpensive, and don’t need soaking, and they look so silly that they always raise a smile (it’s the little things, right?).

Ingredients (to make six wraps):

  • 200g black-eyed beans
  • olive oil for frying (i.e. not extra virgin)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon turmeric
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt to taste
  • 1 bunch parsley, stalks removed
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados
  • 1 teaspoon cracked coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2-3 tablespoons soya yoghurt (or use regular, obviously)
  • 6 small gluten-free wraps* or flatbread equivalent

Simmer the beans in a pan of water for around 40 minutes, or until well cooked. Drain, keeping just a soupcon of the cooking water. Next heat a good slug of olive oil in a skillet and fry the onion, celery and carrot: once they start to soften, add the garlic and chilli, followed by the turmeric, stirring well. Add the lemon juice together with 4-5 tablespoons of the reserved cooking stock, cover the pan and bubble on a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about fifteen minutes (adding more stock if necessary). At the end of this period use a wooden tenderiser or masher to pound the beans: you just want to break them down without actually mashing them. The mixture should be good and moist without having any visible stock to drain. Salt the beans to taste, and then chop half of the bunch of parsley and stir it in.
Next mash the avocados with the spices and yoghurt and season to taste.
To assemble the sarnies, dollop a goodly spoon of the bean mixture on each wrap, stripe with the avocado and add a handful of the remaining parsley. Roll and devour. They also toast very well.

*Easy to make your own, as per Pippa Kendrick’s tweeted recipe in the book:

Mix 110g gf flour (or 55g gram flour & 55g gf flour) 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (essential), salt, 1 tbsp oil, 4-6 tbsp warm water: sift, pour over oil & water and pull together into smooth dough. Griddle them over high heat for 3 mins each side. Makes 2.