In Greek: γίγαντες τηγανητοί, say: YEE-ghan-des tee-ghah-nee-TEE
Yigandes (also spelled “gigantes”) are giant dried beans and are favorites in all areas of Greece. If you can’t find them, use the largest dried lima beans you can find. This delightful dish is a favorite with Greeks during periods of fasting and Lent, and is often served with taramosalata (a delicioius dip made with fish roe).
- 1 pound of yigandes beans (or large dried lima beans)
- 25-30 black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- oil for frying
Soak the beans in plenty of cold water overnight (at least 12 hours).
Drain the beans and rinse well. Transfer to a large pot and add enough cold water to cover generously, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. When full boil is reached, lower the heat and cook at a slow boil until the beans are sort – about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Drain beans in a colander.
Heat 1/4 to 1/3 inch of oil in a skillet. Prepare in small batches: Flour the beans in a bag or on a plate, and transfer to a strainer. Shake to remove excess flour. Fry in hot oil until the exterior is browned and crispy.
- In between batches and when adding more oil, let the oil come to heat before frying.
Drain on paper towels, and serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
Yield: serves 6-8
Serving suggestions: Serve with taramosalata, bread, and a green vegetable for a vegetarian or Lenten meal – and add a slice of table cheese at other times.