Rattlesnake Beans with Onions and Peppers

Rattlesnake Beans with Onions and Peppers  sounds delicious – just kidding. Don’t worry there are no actual rattlesnakes involved in this recipe. The name comes from the streaky pattern the rattlesnake beans develop as they mature, which supposedly resembles a pattern on a rattlesnake. These heirloom beans have more appetizing and less ominous name in Azerbaijani language – lobya. The best time to cook these beans is when they are in their ‘snap bean’ stage before their shells harden. 

I made this summer dish with my mother while I was in Baku at the beginning of lobya season. The beans had bright green color and purple streaks, a sign of freshness. Very filling, these delicious beans will keep you satiated and content until your next meal.


Prep: 15 min   Cook: 40 min   Total: 55 min



1 lbs beans, tips removed and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Anaheim or bell pepper, chopped

1 tomato, peeled and chopped or 1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)

2-3 tbsp butter or olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

water to cover beans, plus 1/2 to 1 cup for later

1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro, dill, and parsley, chopped


1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

salt to taste


Place the beans and salt in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes. Drain the water and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent for about 5 minutes. Add the pepper and cook for another 3 minutes. Then add the tomato and cook for 2 minute. Stir in the beans. Add the water (adjust the amount of water to your liking), salt, and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Add in the herbs 2 minutes before removing the dish from the burner.




Mix the garlic, salt and yogurt in a small bowl.

Serve with a dollop of the dressing.



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