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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Tupac

Pallares Peruanos: Peruvian Lima Beans

With its rich and diverse agricultural landscape, Peru is fortunate to have a wide variety of native ingredients. One such ingredient, used in many Peruvian dishes, is "Pallares," also known as "butter beans" or "lima beans" in English.

Discover more about these creamy white beans and how to use them to make one of the country's most popular dishes: Pallares Peruanos.

Peruvian Pallares: Lima Bean Recipe

What are Peruvian Pallares?

Grown natively in the Andes, Peruvian Pallares are a variety of lima beans that are much larger and creamier than their common counterparts. In many other countries, they are known as "butter beans" due to their smooth and creamy texture.

A nutritious source of energy and packed full of protein, beans are an essential ingredient in everyday Peruvian cooking and are used to make a variety of different dishes. In today's dish, we're looking at a typical meal consisting of Peruvian lima beans, rice, beef, and a traditional Peruvian lime and onion salsa (sarza criolla).

Peruvian Dishes That Use Beans

Given their abundance and nutritional value, beans are incredibly popular in Peru, and there are many dishes in the country’s rich gastronomy that use beans as a main ingredient.

The dish we are preparing today is a classic "Guiso de Pallares" - or a simple "Lima Bean Stew" - but there are numerous other recipes that make use of these Pallares, including:

  • Pallares con Seco: The beans are served with a hearty beef, lamb, or chicken stew. The beans absorb all the rich flavors of the stew, making this a very satisfying combination.

  • Picante de Pallares: Hailing from the Peruvian city of Ica, this dish uses fresh green beans, onion, and chili peppers to create a uniquely vibrant plate that is full of flavoUr.

  • Ensalada de Pallares: A refreshing and simple salad that commonly includes beans, lime juice, red onions, tomatoes, and coriander.

Nutritional Benefits of Lima Beans

Peruvian Pallares

Not only are Peru's lima beans delicious, but they are also packed full of nutritional benefits, including:

  • High in Protein: Lima beans are high in plant-based protein which can fill you up for longer.

  • Packed with Fibre: This legume is full of fibRE which may aid with digestion, along with other micronutrients like manganese, magnesium, and copper.

  • Low in Fat: Pallares are extremely low in both calories and fat, which is mainly healthy unsaturated fat.

How to make Peruvian Pallares

To prepare any type of lima bean dish, the beans first need to be soaked for a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight. Without proper soaking, the beans can be hard and unpleasant to eat.

Here are step-by-step instructions to make a delicious Peruvian-style bean stew:

  1. Soak the Beans: As mentioned above, the beans must be soaked in water for several hours before cooking. Make sure to read any instructions on the packet before starting this recipe.

  2. Cook the Beans: Once the beans have been soaked, boil them in a large pot with water and leave to cook on medium-high heat for around 40-45 minutes.

  3. Chop the Ingredients: To make our aderezo (sauce), we'll use onion, garlic, tomatoes, and chorizo.

  4. Drain the Beans: Once cooked, drain the beans and leave them in a separate bowl, ensuring that you also keep the water to use later on.

  5. Fry the Aderezo (Sauce): In a large pot, fry the onion, chorizo, tomatoes, and garlic paste. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and aji panca. Later, add the beans into the mixture and leave to cook for an additional 15 minutes until cooked through.

  6. Serve: Once cooked through, you can fry your beef, make your salad, or serve it with rice - whatever you prefer! Enjoy!

How to Store These Beans

Once cooked, you can store them in the fridge for up to a week or freeze them. Remember, there are a variety of delicious recipes that you can use these beans for, so don't throw them away!

Peruvian Pallares Recipe

If you prefer a visual guide to your recipes, then watch the video below:

Peruvian Bean Stew Ingredients:

  • 2 onions

  • 500 gr of lima beans

  • 2 tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste

  • Chorizo to taste

  • 2 bayleaves

  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree

  • Salt, pepper, oregano and cumin to taste


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