Lumes Cafe's harissa-spiced beans

Christchurch cafe favourite Lumes shares the recipe for its famous, flavoursome harissa-spiced beans. Gluten-free and featuring a punchy homemade harissa paste, it's the perfect breakfast or brunch

  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Lumes Cafe has been a stalwart of the Christchurch brunch scene since 2009. Owner David Pai shifted Lumes to its Fitzgerald Avenue site after the quake, but brought along the quirky top hat pendant lights and added some industrial pipe furniture to create a modern steel and wood dining space to enjoy quality cabinet food and all-day breakfasts. They even roast their own coffee beans under the name ‘Coffee Embassy’ and make one of the best cups in town. 107 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch
Lumes Cafe
107 Fitzgerald Avenue, Christchurch


Harissa paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Harissa spiced beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red capsicum, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 400 gram tin chopped tomatoes (or 5 fresh chopped tomatoes)
  • 5 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 425 gram tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400 gram tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon raw sugar or coconut sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • sea salt
To serve
  • olive oil
  • 200 gram Spanish chorizo, sliced*
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 gram feta
  • pinch sumac
  • toasted slabs sourdough bread (omit for gluten free)
  • strips red capsicum, micro greens and thin curls spring onion, to garnish (optional)


  • 1
    In a dry pan, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant. Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  • 2
    Heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium heat, add garlic and onion and cook until soft and starting to caramelise.
  • 3
    Add cumin, coriander, chilli and cayenne to the pan, stir for 1 minute and add tomato paste. Continue to cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes.
  • 4
    Pour mixture into a blender along with lemon juice, sugar, sea salt and last 2 Tbsp oil, and process to a smooth paste. Harissa paste will keep airtight in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
  • 5
    For spiced beans, cook onion in olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat for around 5 minutes. Add capsicum and cook until capsicum starts to soften (around 5 minutes). Add garlic and oregano and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • 6
    Add tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, 2 Tbsp harissa paste, beans, water, sugar and vinegar. Simmer for about 15 minutes, adding more water if starts to look too dry (if using fresh tomatoes you’ll need less water). Season to taste with sea salt.
  • 7
    Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Warm a frying pan on medium-high heat.
  • 8
    Add a splash of olive oil to the frying pan and fry chorizo until crispy. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
  • 9
    Just as harissa spiced beans finish cooking, poach the eggs in the pot of simmering water for around 3 minutes.
  • 10
    Ladle beans into 4 bowls, top with a poached egg, scatter with cooked chorizo and crumble over feta. Sprinkle sumac over eggs, add a garnish if desired and serve with toasted sourdough.


  • Check label if eating gluten free.

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