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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy’s Katin-Grazzini LLC


Peruvian-Inspired Lima Bean Purée


This tasty, healthy spread is inspired by the flavors of Peru: aji Amarillo chilies, lime, cilantro, cumin. Simple to make, this sweet, mildly spicy purée is high in fiber, protein, and flavor. Spread on Peruvian-inspired crackers, made from the country’s staples: quinoa, corn, and potatoes, or to dip crudité with, or to mound on salads, wraps and sandwiches.


Prep time: Overnight soak of lima beans

Cook time: 1 hour to cook beans, prep, and blend all elements

Makes: about 3 cups


3 cups cooked lima beans from ½ cup dry lima beans or about 1½ 15-ounce canned lima beans

3 cloves garlic

2 bay leaves

1 head garlic, dry roasted

2 teaspoons onion granules

5 to 6 teaspoons aji Amarillo chilies from ½ cup frozen chilies, defrosted, puréed, or to taste (1)

1 tablespoon shiro (mild, white) miso paste, or to taste

1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds, freshly ground

Juice of 1 lime

Several grinds of black pepper

1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


  • Aji Amarillo chilies, Peru’s fruity yellow chilies, are available frozen, if not fresh, in most Latino groceries.


Rinse the dry lima beans, transfer to a pot, cover by a few inches of water, and soak overnight or 8 hours or longer. Drain. Refill pot, toss in the bay leaves and whole garlic cloves and cook on a low simmer for up to an hour, or until the limes are soft in the center but still intact. Older beans may take a little longer. Lima beans are delicate and will disintegrate if cooked over high heat, so cook them gently. Drain, discarding the garlic cloves and bay leaves.


To roast the garlic head, remove the loose outer garlic skins. Roast whole in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Cool and peel cloves.


To make the aji Amarillo purée, toss the defrosted chilies in a high-speed blender and run on high, to blend into a sweet, fruity, moderately hot, soft paste.


Grind the cumin seeds in a coffee or spice grinder.


Combine the cooked lima beans, roasted garlic cloves, aji Amarillo purée, ground cumin, shiro miso, black pepper, and lime juice in a food processor. Run for a minute, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and run for another minute. Taste and correct seasonings to your tastes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.


Serve at room temperature or warmed.

Peruvian-Inspired Lima Bean Spread

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