I first made this as a side-dish for a beef tenderloin that I also flavoured with paprika, a couple of months ago. It's based on a traditional Romanian recipe which is much simpler and slightly less healthy than what I'm making here-but nevertheless a huge favorite, especially with men. The beauty of this mash is that it can be either served as a side for a meat dish, or as a dip, or even as a sandwich spread, on crusty bread and topped with sliced juicy tomatoes. —Seasin
For this recipe, I recommend that you use tinned beans. Why? Because they're convenient. You come home from work and you can whip this up in minutes. They're also very cheap and loaded with protein. You can of course use dry beans that you soak and boil-it won't make a huge deal of a difference in the mash, it'll only put a dent in your timetable. So: drain and wash the three bean types (tins come really small where I live, so I used one whole 400g tin for each type of beans (drained weight of beans as stated above). Reserve.
Peel and chop the onion and garlic. In a heavy bottomed pan with a lid, pour the oil and add the onions. Cover and place on medium-low heat. You want the onions sweated, not fried. This brings on their natural sweetnes. It’ll take about 10 minutes, but be patient and only stir once if you can-if you’re worried about sticking, give the pan a shake every now and then. Once the bits of onion are translucent and soft, add a teaspoon of honey, a tablespoon of paprika (I used hot but don’t feel compelled to; sweet will do but I do prefer a little bit of heat in this dish) and the garlic. Give the lot one more minute, increasing the heat a bit and leaving the lid off. Then, throw in the beans and about one teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves (yes, you can use dried!). You don’t need to cook them, obviously, just heat them through. About…three-four minutes should do it. Take it off the heat, and mash the whole thing up, either by popping it in a food processor (if you want a really smooth mash) or using a normal potato-mash thinggie. I personally prefer the thinggie-method, because this way some of the chickpeas will escape untouched, and I love chickpeas, and also the mash will have a more rustic, chunky texture and look. Season it with salt and pepper, if possible freshly ground. Don't be afraid to season well, beans can be bland and there's nothing worst than bland food. At this point, if the mash looks a bit dry (and it tends to do so normally) add some more extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a few drops of sesame oil. Stir well…ta-daaa. Mash is done. Pretty tast stuff, if I say so myself :)